Treaty of Utrecht (Article X)
|ORIGINAL TEXT||OUR INTERPRETATION|
|The Catholic King does hereby, for himself, his heirs and successors, yield to the Crown of Great Britain the full and entire propriety of the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts thereunto belonging; and he gives up the said propriety to be held and enjoyed absolutely with all manner of right for ever, without any exception or impediment whatsoever.||Only part of this treaty that still holds true today- that Gibraltar is British forever. This is confirmed in the Treaty of Versailles 1783.|
|But that abuses and frauds may be avoided by importing any kind of goods, the Catholic King wills, and takes it to be understood, that the above-named propriety be yielded to Great Britain without any territorial jurisdiction and without any open communication by land with the country round about.||No access was to be allowed to the surrounding (Campo) area by land, ostensibly to prevent smuggling. This part of the Treaty is superceded by UN and EU legislation and Directives on Free Movement, but is still used by Spain as an excuse (among many other equally invalid excuses) to hold up traffic and trade at the frontier.|
|Yet whereas the communication by sea with the coast of Spain may not at all times be safe or open, and thereby it may happen that the garrison and other inhabitants of Gibraltar may be brought to great straits; and as it is the intention of the Catholic King, only that fraudulent importations of goods should, as is above said, be hindered by an inland communications. it is therefore provided that in such cases it may be lawful to purchase, for ready money, in the neighbouring territories of Spain, provisions and other things necessary for the use of the garrison, the inhabitants, and the ships which lie in the harbour.||Basically modifies the above to say that goods and provisions may legally be bought in Spain. This would make sound business sense. Today's Spanish Government are not so wise! Superceded by membership of both Gibraltar and Spain into the EU. However, the first recorded violation of this section by Spain was in July 1714, when an order was issued forbidding trade with Gibraltar on pain of deportation or being sent to the galleys. ('Rock under a Cloud', C. Caruana) This continuous lack of good faith is one of the main reasons why Gibraltarians don't want to be Spanish|
|But if any goods be found imported by Gibraltar, either by way of barter for purchasing provisions, or under any other pretence, the same shall be confiscated, and complaint being made thereof, those persons who have acted contrary to the faith of this treaty, shall be severely punished.||Refers to above paragraph- "Cash only or else!"|
|And Her Britannic Majesty, at the request of the Catholic King, does consent and agree, that no leave shall be given under any pretence whatsoever, either to Jews or Moors, to reside or have their dwellings in the said town of Gibraltar; and that no refuge or shelter shall be allowed to any Moorish ships of war in the harbour of the said town, whereby the communication between Spain and Ceuta may be obstructed, or the coasts of Spain be infested by the excursions of the Moors.||Both live happily within the city walls today- this was in fear that Spain would be reconquered by the Arabs, and Spain was then entrusting non-Catholics to the tender cares of the Inquisition. Suffice to say it is invalid today. It was never enforced, due to the Spanish violation of the third paragraph, and these Jewish and Arab traders being the sole suppliers of food from Morocco.|
|But whereas treaties of friendship and a liberty and intercourse of commerce are between the British and certain territories situated on the coast of Africa, it is always to be understood, that the British subjects cannot refuse the Moors and their ships entry into the port of Gibraltar purely upon the account of merchandising.||Allows trade with Moors.|
|Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain does further promise, that the free exercise of their religion shall be indulged to the Roman Catholic inhabitants of the aforesaid town.||Guarantees freedom of worship for those inhabitants of Gibraltar who remained. Catholicism is still the dominant religion today. Gives the lie to (unsubstantiated) claims of "ethnic cleansing" made by some Spanish fanatics today!|
|And in case it shall hereafter seem meet to the Crown of Great Britain to grant , sell or by any means to alienate therefrom the propriety of the said town of Gibraltar, it is hereby agreed and concluded that the preference of having the sale shall always be given to the Crown of Spain before any others.||And finally, the
most abused part- the "first refusal" clause.
This is invalidated by the UN's principles on the decolonisation of peoples, which supports the self-determination principle. It is further supported by the Preamble to our Constitution. Spanish claims to "territorial integrity" are actually invalidated by this treaty, as Gibraltar became officially separate from Spain at this time. UN Resolutions supporting Spain's claim would result in a gross violation of Gibraltarian rights to self-determination. Due mainly to the ill-treatment of Gibraltarians by Spain over the last few decades, Gibraltarians have no wish to be Spanish. Further, it could only be activated if the UK decided to get rid of Gibraltar- something it has so far refused to do.
|One further point: The people of Gibraltar are not signatories to the Treaty. Officially, therefore, they cannot modify it, despite being the most affected by it. On the other hand some say we should not be considered bound by it. We are seeking a UN ruling on this matter, as most of this Treaty is superceded by subsequent treaties and international law.|