EXCLUSIVE: Gibraltar will continue to fight to make its own choices even if there is no EU treaty, says SDGG chief
Leader of Gibraltar’s push for self-determination says being a central part of EU treaty negotiations shows how much the UK and even Spain trust the Rock government to decide of the future of his own people.
The chairman of the Self-Determination Group for Gibraltar (SDGG), Richard Buttigieg, echoed Chief Minister Fabian Picardo’s message on the Rock’s “inalienable right to self-determination”.
Despite the cancellation of the national day, Gibraltar has recently continued its quest for self-determination in the United Nations committee on decolonization.
“There is an element of self-determination to the ongoing talks and all the issues surrounding it in the sense that it is Gibraltar, through its government and its representatives, who are advocating for what they wants its post-Brexit reality to be,” Buttigieg said. the olive press.
“This ability to choose for ourselves what we want is at the very heart of the SDGG philosophy.”
Even as the organizers of the national holiday await the final result of the ongoing negotiations, its president believes that the fight will not end with an agreement, or even no agreement.
“It must be remembered that such a right is not exercised once and for all, or even once,” he said.
“The right to self-determination is a permanent right in the sense that we must always be masters of our own future.
“So we can, and should always try, to advance our rights.”
If a deal is struck, the activist believes Gibraltar may have to consider changes to its 2006 relationship with the UK, as the government has hinted over the past few years in relation to Brexit.
“There may well be a need to review our constitution depending on and if a post-Brexit deal is reached,” Buttigieg said.
“It will of course be crucial that if there are any constitutional changes, they do not impair our ability to exercise our right to self-determination.”
Spain’s official line at United Nations meetings has always been to call Gibraltar a colony and not give them a voice.
But the latest EU negotiations seem to have signaled a different attitude under the current left-wing coalition.
“I think even though the official position is that the negotiations are officially between the UK and Spain, Gibraltar is far from being ignored,” Buttigieg said.
“Not only is he present in all the meetings but, as I understand it, it is Gibraltar’s views and positions that shape the discussions and even the details of the outcome.”
And he said it’s also not surprising to consider the ever-greater voices of small territories around the world in deciding their own future.
Taiwan, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Western Sahara, Kurdistan and Hong Kong have all pushed their own agendas onto the international stage, often against international forces far more powerful than their own.
“As more and more countries or territories like these seek to pursue their own agendas, Gibraltar’s position may be strengthened and it may become more difficult to refute our arguments,” the SDGG Chairman said.
“So we have to keep fighting as frustrated as we are sometimes and for as long as it lasts.
“It’s a fight worth fighting – for our sake, in honor of those previous generations who gave up so much, and for the sake of our children.”