Dr Joseph Garcia MP, Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar
Author of: Gibraltar: The Making of a People, Gibraltar: Mediterranean SUN Publishing Co. Ltd, 1994.
- Deputy Chief Minister: working in close partnership with the Chief Minister in his exercise of overall responsibility for and supervision of Government Departments and public administration
- Ministerial co-ordination & Manifesto implementation
- “Brexit” work related to the United Kingdom’s planned departure from the European Union
- European affairs
- International political lobbying
- Responsibility for Gibraltar representative offices abroad
- The promotion of the right to Self-Determination and liaison with the United Nations
- Political, democratic and civic reform
- Lands and Government Projects
- Civil aviation
- The administration of Government Departments charged with the aforesaid
Michael Marsh, MRIA
Michael Marsh, MRIA, is an emeritus professor of political science at Trinity College Dublin and served as vice president of the College as well as Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The author of a wide variety of articles on parties, public opinion and electoral behaviour, he has co-edited each of the last five books in the How Ireland Voted series, and has been a principal investigator for the Irish National Election Study since its foundation. He was co-author or co-editor of several books arising out of those studies: The Irish Voter (Manchester, 2008), A Conservative Revolution? (Oxford, 2017) and The Post-Crisis Irish Voter (Manchester, 2018).
Voting Behaviour in Referendums
This talk considers how far what we know about voting from looking at elections in modern democracies generalizes to voting behaviour in referendums. While referendums are ostensibly about particular policy decisions and so differ from elections that have a broader function, there are some broad themes which run across research both referendums and elections: the role of parties and their leaders; the place of issues in such votes – as in elections, research on referendums finds that not everyone views the same issues as important; and the way in which the vote is framed. One conclusion then is that what we know about elections generalizes to referendums in as much as the processes underlying decisions are similar but the context can be important, the actors can be different and the weight given to certain factors can be very different. Just as much of what we are coming to know about electoral behaviour shows that institutional context is often a critical conditioning factor, so with referendums, conditionality is perhaps even more important.
Stuart Ward is Professor of History at the University of Copenhagen where he specializes in the political and social consequences of the end of the British empire, both “at home” and overseas. He has published a number of works on this theme including British Culture and the End of Empire (2001); Australia’s Empire (2008); The Unknown Nation (2010) and he will shortly complete a major study of the identity politics of Britishness at empire’s end, The Untied Kingdom: A World History of the End of Britain (CUP).
Neverendum: Referenda and plebiscites in the wake of decolonization
When the people of Gibraltar queued up to vote in the September 1967, it did not occur to many that they were partaking of a ritual with world-wide resonances. From the time of the South African Republican referendum of October 1960, the resort to referenda and plebiscites would become an increasingly commonplace method of resolving the vexed identity politics of empire’s end. Whether it be the Jamaican sovereignty referendum of 1961, the Rhodesian vote to relinquish the Crown in 1969, or the Australian plebiscite on a new national anthem in 1973, the voice of the people became the chief arbiter of selfhood in a rapidly unravelling British world. Later polls in Quebec (1980 and 1995), Australia (1999), the Falklands (2013), and most recently in New Zealand (the flag referendum of 2016) were all, in each in their own way, attempts to mop up the unfinished business of an imperial civic culture that no longer resonated. It will be argued here that these otherwise disparate phenomena should be understood as facets of the same global historical event, and that indeed we gain a fresh purchase on the recent UK referenda over Scottish independence (2014) and Brexit (2016) when they, too, are included in the mix. The question of Gibraltar’s British selfhood in 1967 is often depicted as a quirky historical anomaly. But it can be cast in a different light as part of a continuum of questions that have been asked of multiple post-imperial communities the world over in the wake of the British empire.
Professor Robert Holland
Professor Robert Holland, Visiting Professor, Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London and Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
Brexit in Historical Perspective
This presentation starts by identifying certain historical markers recurring in the debate during the UK’s referendum on EU membership in June 2016, and since. These include the English Church Reformation of the early sixteenth century as (in Brexit perspective) an early modern foundation of British ‘exceptionalism’, and disputes over the legacy of Winston Churchill in relation to European commitments. Readers’ letters sent to newspapers on such matters are highlighted, not as embodying attempts at historical exactitude, but as evidence of a fundamental divergence of opinions. Discussion then turns to facets of Britain’s long-run relationship with Europe, including a pattern of sharp nativist, anti-foreign, anti-European outbursts. A distinction is made between being ‘in Europe’ and (in John Major’s expression in 1990) being ‘at the heart of Europe’. It is pointed out that Britain’s success – military and political – in attempts to be the latter have always been chequered at best. The evolution of an oblique, peripheralized geo-political orientation – in which the Mediterranean always loomed large – is ascribed to this process. The old ‘Concert of Europe’ provided a very suitable framework for these instincts. However, the process by which European stabilization after 1945 was eventually defined by integration, institutionalism and supra-nationalism increasingly made this otiose. The focus then shifts to the reasons why after 1960 the UK progressively shifted its position from holding severely aloof from the Common Market to the disjointed process by which it eventually became a member after 1972. After all, if you later decide to abandon membership, it might be sensible to recall why one wished to participate in the first place. Discussion focuses on the dead-end in which the British found themselves from the early and mid-1960s, a well as the severe disadvantages that seeking solutions to contemporary problems in a purely national context had come to pose. Specific mention is made of developments in the spheres of farming and Commonwealth relationships (the latter in common parlance today the ‘Anglosphere’). After this the psychological roots of Brexit are found, not in some imperial nostalgia, as is often supposed, but in an older and more deeply-rooted fear at being ‘barged about’ by foreign nations, especially close European neighbors. Twentieth century experience only intensified this sensitivity and came to underpin a British ‘metanarrative’ at odds with norms elsewhere in Europe.The final section of the presentation turns to British politics proper, and the breakdown seemingly caused by Brexit in the long-established two-party system in the UK (though in truth the factors involved go beyond issues connected with the European question, and crucially include the ossifying of the British social system compared to, say, that of the 1960s). Although some have argued that the shadow of a Suez-type humiliation in 1956 (‘the Suez crisis’) hangs over Brexit, it is contended that this is to undestimate the deeper structural issues which have become existential both for the main political parties and the personal ambitions of the key party leaderships. The talk ends with a few comments on the current point reached in the Article 50 process, its implications and on referenda as a mechanism for deciding key questions of public policy.
Rasmus Leander Nielsen
Rasmus Leander Nielsen is Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Science, Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and EU-studies from the University of Southern Denmark. His main research interests include the evolution of Greenlandic foreign diplomacy, especially in relation to the EU, international cooperation in the Arctic, EU-referendums, and how domestic politics and institutions affect foreign policies and relations. Before moving to Nuuk in late 2016, he worked for several years as a journalist and editor with a special focus on European integration and taught as an External Lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.
Referendums and Postcoloniality in Greenland
Since the early 1970s, referendums have played a vital role in the ongoing twin-process of Greenland’s road to advancing further independence within the Kingdom of Denmark and the evolution of becoming an actor in one’s own right within the international society. Greenland, or Kalaallit Nunaat in Greenlandic, is analysed in a temporal case-study to shed light on implications of integration/disintegration dynamics mediated by referendums mushrooming internationally in recent decades. This paper traces key historical events in regards to the ‘will of the Kalaallit’, i.e. the Greenlandic people, and elucidates how enhanced possibilities of agency in foreign policy, especially in regards to European integration, also provide a flip side of exclusion of voice about the consequences of specific EU-reforms in later referendums in Denmark proper. We argue that the specific hybrid position, which Greenland has carved out for itself in relation to Danish sovereignty, involves not only empowerment in certain matters, but also abstention from involvement in other matters.
Dr. Jesús Verdú Baeza
Professor of Public International Law, University of Cadiz
A Spanish Perspective in a Post- Brexit Changing Europe
In order to understand the special characteristics of Spain regarding the relations with the European Union, it is completely necessary to take into account the recent past. After the defeat of Nazism and Fascism in Western Europe at the end of WWII, Spain has been a country oppressed and subjugated under the iron rule of a ferocious dictatorship until the decease of Franco in 1975. The extremely difficult transition to democracy crystalized in our Constitution of 1978 that has been the basic pillar and corner stone of our legal and political system.
Europe has been for the majority of Spaniards a beacon of democracy, the basic reference point in order to advance the democratic reforms. For that reason, one of the most important objectives of the then young and fragile democracy was to join the European integration process. Spain´s integration into the EU has deeply transformed the country from many different angles.
That is why, in times of uncertainties, in the aftermath of an unprecedented large-scale crisis and in the midst of confusion about the UK exit process, Spain needs a stronger Europe to consolidate its still weak political structures, to support the economic system, and to act as a vaccine against populist nationalist movements in this complex and confusing Post-Truth Trump era.
Michael Llamas QC
Michael Llamas QC, Attorney General of Gibraltar, BA Law/French from University of Sussex & Strasberg, LLM in European Law Kings College London, DEA in Environmental Law from Paris Sorbonne University. EU Legal Counsel to the Gibraltar Government since 1997, appointed Silk 2012.
Gibraltar and Brexit
Gibraltar woke up on the morning of June 24, 2016 finding itself in a position that, whereas it had voted 96 percent in favour of remain, it faced itself with a Brexit scenario. The government of Gibraltar spent the remainder of 2016 preparing its Brexit strategy to face this momentous challenge. Gibraltar seeks two fundamental results from Brexit, firstly the maintenance of a free flowing border with Spain and secondly the maintenance and enhancement of trading relations with the United Kingdom. These two issues have occupied much of the government’s time since the referendum result was known, and this paper will set out to explain what progress has been made on these two fronts.
Ulrik Pram Gad
Ulrik Pram Gad is Associate Professor of Arctic Culture and Politics at Aalborg University, Denmark. He earned his degrees and conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. From 1998 to 2002, he worked for the Government of Greenland in Nuuk as management assistant in the Government Secretariat and as head of office in the Office for Foreign Affairs.
Referendums and Postcoloniality in Greenland
Referendums are not just used to occasionally consult the ‘will of the people’; they also play an important part in defining who qualifies as a people eligible to have a will on said issues. Particularly in Europe, referendums have become key nodes when states integrate. European integration is easily the topic that have spurred most referendums since the early 1970s and Member States have iteratively asked the people before accession or ratifying further EU-integration and treaties – sometimes compelled by constitutional requirements; more often for tactical reasons, and often times with these having counterproductive effects. Meanwhile, referendums are increasingly key nodes when states disintegrate. Referendums are e.g. used world-wide in relation to devolution. Also, referendums have played an increasing role in secessions; particularly in the post-cold-war break up of Eastern Europeans conglomerate states – and in the (so far failed) attempts to instigate parallel processes in Western Europe. Finally, the processes of decolonization of the few, dispersed remnants of Empire have increasingly been mediated by referendums. Recently, it has become apparent these two processes of integration and disintegration, both mediated by referendums, interact in multifaceted ways. The domestic and international complications following the Brexit referendum might be of an unprecedented scale in terms of both economic and political ramifications, but it is by no means the first example of a referendum recasting core-periphery relations in ways that put into question who are eligible to define what people should decide. This paper unfolds the historical role of referendums in Greenland; a self-governing entity within the Kingdom of Denmark. Greenland is neither a sovereign state; sovereignty formally rests in Copenhagen. Nor is Greenland a colony in the way it was a century ago (let alone in the way India or the Congo was). Rather, in relation to the international society of states, contemporary Greenland inhabits a hybrid position: On the one hand, the lack of formal sovereignty bars Greenland from certain types of agency. On the other hand, the shared history of Denmark keeping Greenland as a colony, severely limits how Denmark can employ it sovereignty over Greenland in ways, which empowers Greenland beyond what would possibly have been the case in a counterfactual situation of independence. The basic point of this paper is to show how analyzing referenda – the campaign debates; the substantial decisions made in referendums; and their legitimizing effect – tells us important things about the space of agency available to such a post-colon
Kristianna Winther Poulsen, M.A., M.Sc
Kristianna Winther Poulsen, M.A. and M.Sc, has been Member of Parliament in the Faroe Islands since 2015. She represents Javnaðarflokkurin, the Social Democratic Party which has been the largest party since the election in September 2015 and which presently holds the Prime Minister. In Parliament, Kristianna Winther Poulsen holds a seat in the Committee of Culture and Education.
Before entering into politics, Kristianna Winther Poulsen has worked as a civil servant, with gender equality, as a French teacher in High School, and as a journalist. She has published numerous articles, i.e. on religion and politics, human rights, gender equality and education.
Towards a constitution for the Faroe Islands
For the last two decades or so, a new constitution has been on the political agenda from time to time. The subject of the talk will be the political work and intentions with a new constitution. The overall position of the political parties regarding the constitution will be dealt with, as will the general opinion on the relations between the Faroe Islands and Denmark. The draft bill was published for the public to comment on at the end of July, and numerous hearings were submitted. In the following months, the draft bill will be discussed in Løgtingið, the Parliament, and the political aim is to reach an overall political consensus before the referendum which will be held in 2018.
Dr Hakeem Yusuf
Dr Hakeem Yusuf is an expert in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. He is currently a Reader in Global Legal Studies at the Birmingham Law School. He is also a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In an earlier professional career, following a two year stint in private practice, he worked as a Law Officer in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Nigeria. He has researched extensively in transitional justice, economic and social rights, and comparative judicial constitutionalism. His first book on transitional justice, Transitional Justice, Judicial Accountability and the Rule of Law (2010) was the first book published in the Routledge Transitional Justice Series and was shortlisted for the 2010 Kevin Boyle Prize by the Irish association of Law Teachers. His second book Colonial and Post-Colonial Constitutionalism in the Commonwealth Peace, Order and Good Government (Routledge Abingdon 2014) was awarded the prestigious John T. Saywell Prize for Canadian Constitutional Legal History 2015 by the Osgoode Society of Canadian Legal History. He served on a truth and reconciliation commission in South-West Nigeria 2011. He has published his research in leading peer-reviewed journals, including the International Journal of Transitional Justice, International Journal of Constitutional Law, Law and Policy, and the African Human Rights Law Journal.
Gibraltar, Brexit and Commonwealth Constitutionalism
Gibraltar is a self-governing British Overseas Territory. The current constitution of Gibraltar, the Gibraltar Constitution Order of 2006 has two provisions on the POGG power. The first is in 32 empowering the Gibraltar Parliament to make laws and the second provision is contained in Annex 2 where Article 5 retains to Her Majesty ‘full power to make laws from time to time for the peace, order and good government of Gibraltar (including, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, laws amending and revoking the Constitution [of 1969]). This presentation examines the POGG power contained in the Gibraltar Constitution with a view to reform. A longstanding justification for this reform is the fact that the provision in question has continued to be cited as contrary to the affirmed status of Gibraltar as a self-governing and decolonised territory. This is a significant issue in relation to the external affairs of Gibraltar as it has constituted an excuse for the continued inclusion of Gibraltar in the list of non-self-governing territories maintained by the Committee of 24 of the Fourth Committee of the United Nations in New York. Equally, important is the awkward position Gibraltar will be in with the imminent exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit). The study raises critical issues of history, decolonisation, Commonwealth constitutionalism and international law that have significant implications for Gibraltar and indeed, the over 250,000 people living in British Overseas territories in the context of Brexit.
Dr Dimitrios Kagiaros
Dr Dimitrios Kagiaros is a Teaching Fellow in Public Law and Human Rights at the University of Edinburgh and a member of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law. He has taught on constitutional law, administrative law and human rights law courses at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Hull. He was awarded his PhD for his thesis ‘Whistle-blowing and democratic governance: Public Interest limitations in Security and Intelligence’ in 2015.
Scotland, Referenda and Brexit
The 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum was broadly heralded in legal scholarship as an instance where ‘pathologies’ usually associated with direct democracy were overcome through elaborate “multi-actor regulation” of the referendum process. The result against independence, however, did not bring an end to the independence debate, and in retrospect seems to have been nothing more than one important aspect of a broader discourse on Scottish independence. Most recently, the Brexit referendum result served as an opportunity for the pro-independence side to reignite discussion on Scottish independence and to request a second referendum. The paper will examine the legal implications of this request and assess what can be learned from past practice. Finally, the paper will discuss the potential obstacles that may make a second referendum difficult to achieve.
Hans Andrias Sølvará
Hans Andrias Sølvará is associate professor in history at the Faculty of History and Social Science at the University of the Faroe Islands. He has written several books and articles about the history of the Faroe Islands, especially on the twentieth century political history of the islands. His first book, Løgtingið 150, from 2002 is about the history of the ancient Faroese Parliament. His Ph.D. thesis from 2014 is about the rise of the separatist movement in the Faroe Islands – an extensive analysis of the development of Faroese politics in the period 1906-25. The Rise of Faroese Separatism from 2016 is his ninth and most recent book and the first to introduce English-speaking readers to his research on the twentieth century political history of the Faroe Islands. Hans Andreas Sølvará is Dean at the Faculty of History and Social Science at the University of the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands – from Norwegian dependency to self-determination in the Danish State
In this paper the general development of the constitutional relations of the Faroe Islands to the Danish state – from the Treaty of Kiel in 1814 to the present day discussion of Faroese self-determination – will be the subject. The perspective will be the attempted integration of the Faroe Islands into the Danish state since 1850, when the democratic Danish constitution from 1849 was registered in the Faroe Islands. This event laid the main foundation under the development of a political life and political parties in the Faroe Islands mainly divided along the political dispute about the constitutional relations of the Faroe Islands to the Danish state; a political dispute that subsequently developed into a real secessionist movement in the Faroe Islands. Emphasis will be put on key constitutional events, especially those relating to several accepted and held referendums about this key issue in the Faroe Islands in the 20th and in the 21st Century. It will be argued that even if the Danish state authorities with these referendums allegedly intended to prevent the independence movement in the Faroe Islands from gaining real political support in the Faroe Islands, the consequence has been that they in reality – if not formally – have accepted and even promoted the development towards a Faroese quest for political self-determination. This constitutional and political narrative, which is a narrative of a development towards greater Faroese autonomy in the Danish Kingdom, will be put into a broader historical perspective with a comparison with Danish examples, especially Greenland and Iceland. Lastly, the intended referendum in 2018 will be put into a historical perspective.
Dr Jamie Trinidad
Dr Jamie Trinidad is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge and of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge. His research and teaching cover a number of areas, including self-determination, territory (land and sea), dispute resolution, human rights and the constitutional arrangements of British Overseas Territories. His work has been published in several leading international law journals. He is working on a book on self-determination in disputed colonial territories, and is due to publish a long article on the disputed waters around Gibraltar in the 2016 edition of the British Yearbook of International Law. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2001 and practises from Isolas (Gibraltar) and 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square (London). He advises the Gibraltar Government on international legal matters and often accompanies the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister on visits to the United Nations. He holds master’s degrees in international law and international relations from Oxford and Cambridge, and a PhD in international law from Cambridge.
The UN Reaction to the 1967 Referendum
Gibraltar’s 1967 referendum was held less than a year after Spain had rejected the UK’s offer to resolve all aspects of the Gibraltar dispute before the International Court of Justice. The result of the referendum, in which nearly 100% of voters opted to retain links with the UK rather than pass under Spanish sovereignty, prompted Franco’s government to intensify its political lobbying on the Gibraltar question at the United Nations. In late 1967, the General Assembly of the United Nations met to debate a draft resolution declaring that the referendum had contravened previous resolutions of the General Assembly, and calling for a resumption of bilateral negotiations between the UK and Spain ‘with a view to putting to an end the colonial situation in Gibraltar’. The resulting resolution, 2353 (XXII), was adopted by a narrow majority, but it represents the high point of Spanish success regarding Gibraltar at the UN. My talk will examine what was said during the debate, before assessing the legal significance of resolution 2353 (XXII), the preamble of which refers to the principles of national unity and territorial integrity, in an apparent (but not necessarily coherent) nod of approval towards the Spanish claim.
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells MEP
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells MEP was born in Barcelona on the 30th June of 1965. He is married with Maria Rosa and he is a father of three children. Bachelor in Economics by the University of Barcelona in 1992, he combined the study and the work, in the world of the fiscal and countable consultancy, since 1987. In 1999 he obtained a PHD at the University of Barcelona, where since 1992 he taught as an associated teacher in the department of Economic Theory. He defended his doctoral thesis, which analyzed the impact of the monetary policy and the entrepreneurial profits in the Catalan manufacturing (1983-1995), in the Economics department of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In 1999 he also completed a Master in Applied Economic Analysis to the University Pompeu Fabra. Since 2002 he has been a full professor in the department of Economic Theory at the University of Barcelona. From 2009 – 2014 he was member of the Economic and Transport Committees in the European Parliament. He was also member of the Chinese and Israel parliamentary delegation of the European Parliament. He was speaker of the new European Financial Supervision (2010), the report of the European Central Bank (2011) and the report on Competition (2012), and at the same time participated in discussions on the Mediterranean corridor, in the context of the “Single European Railway Area” Report. He also followed actively the debates on the reform of the CAP. He was reelected as a Member of the European Parliament on May 2014 and is a member of the Economic and International Trade Committees. Moreover he is member of the USA and Israel Delegations of this house. He was the rapporteur of the European Central Bank report (2016). He is now the ECON Coordinator for the ALDE Group.
Cataluña’s Independence Referendum
“The Catalan people have the right to self-determination. As the UN Human Rights expert described in its 2014 annual report, the right to self-determination cannot be linked only to decolonisation but to a wider process of deepening democratisation”.
“Europe is at a crossroads, after recognising states born out of independence wars, Catalonia offers an opportunity to make clear to the rest of the world that ballot boxes and referendums are the best tool to solve political-territorial conflicts”.
“7 years of mobilisations with more than 1M people in the streets, show the sustained will of the Catalan people to self-determination. A will that was accomplished on October 1st even against the aggression from Spanish police forces sent to Catalonia to repress voters”.
“In a globalised and democratic world, small nations are perfectly viable in economic terms, allowing a framework for the creation of new States”
Dr Maria Mut Bosque
Dr Maria Mut Bosque holds a European PhD in Legal and Social Sciences, two Degrees in Law and Political Sciences, a Master’s Degree in International Studies, and Post-Graduate Diplomas in European Union Law, Public Law and Political Sciences.
Dr Mut has been the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law. Currently is lecturer of International and European Union Law at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (Barcelona) and since 2009, she is a Research Fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (University of London).
She has published different academic articles and book chapters on the Commonwealth, the EU and Gibraltar; such as “Setting a new framework for co-operation between the Commonwealth and the European Union”, Journal of Commonwealth and comparative politics. “A Historical and Political Review: The Challenges and Successes of Malta and Cyprus in their Path towards Membership of the Commonwealth and the European Union”, Journal of Mediterranean Studies. “Brexit and the Commonwealth: New Challenges for Gibraltar”, The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs. “A New Scenario for British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies?”, The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs.
The political, legal and social parallelisms and differences between Catalonia and Gibraltar
My talk and paper will focus on the political, legal and social parallelisms and differences between Catalonia and Gibraltar. Both territories started from the same starting point: the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, but historical events forced them to take different pathways. Today Catalonia and Gibraltar have different legal statuses and political situations, but they share a great range of challenges and aspirations. Curiously, their different political situations have brought them to a similar postion regarding Spain and their EU future involvement. Both territories have always advocated for dialogue and self-determination, however they have found a similar response on behalf of the Spanish government. Their respective citizenships have always been firm supporters of the EU integration project, but the EU has not lived up to these expectations. Finally, Catalan and Gibraltar relationship is strengthening, on the basis of solidarity, mutual respect and empathy.
Dr Jennifer Ballantine Perera
Dr Jennifer Ballantine Perera, the Director of the Gibraltar Garrison Library and Director of the Institute for Gibraltar and Mediterranean Studies of the University of Gibraltar. Together with the University of Essex, she has this year completed work on an ESRC funded project; Bordering on Britishness: An Oral History of Gibraltar in the 20th Century and on an EU funded project; ‘The Encyclopaedia of Migrants’ alongside EU partners . She was previously based at Lancaster University where she formed part of a major research project, headed by Professor Martin Blinkhorn and Professor Stephen Constantine on Gibraltar. She has published articles on the permit system in place in Gibraltar during the 19th century, on the Royal Calpe Hunt and on the development of a civilian population on the Rock.
Why a ‘sovereignty’ referendum?’: The Gibraltar Referendum of 1967
This paper sets out to trace a timeline of events leading up to the sovereignty referendum that took place in Gibraltar in September 1967. Referendums were taking place around this period in other British colonies and as such, Gibraltar’s plebiscite can be seen alongside these other expressions of self-determination. Still, the reality was that Gibraltar had been moving towards greater self-government through constitutional reform and independence was not necessarily part of this process. Constitutionally, Gibraltar was seeking, together with the support of Great Britain, self-government in continued association with Great Britain and had declared this intent at the 1964 session of the UN Committee of 24. My thesis is that the referendum becomes an inevitable consequence of events as they start unfolding in 1964 and will be suggesting that Great Britain and Gibraltar are working very much outside of the box in terms of ensuring a viable future for Gibraltar whilst also safeguarding the self- determination of the people of Gibraltar, but that this is not what neither the UN nor the Spanish government had envisaged.