Usual State Sovereignty red herring!
Chairman Felix Alvarez explained the organisation’s views saying “Mr Caruana has negotiated the unnegotiable and in so doing he has made sure we remain at exactly the same historical standstill as before: nothing has changed! Whilst we fully support working towards a better European future along with the UK, Spain and the rest of EU States, this can only happen on the basis of internal as well as external change on many fronts. In the first instance, you cannot build a new Gibraltar based on old injustices and the proposed text was always short-sighted and exclusively concerned with the idea of State Sovereignty. It failed to address fundamental issues of Gibraltarian democracy by committing exactly the same mistake as in 1969: that is, by viewing the Constitution as only a State Sovereignty text and not what all Constitutions really are: a basic higher law laying down the democratic principles which govern the quality of life and freedom of all citizens. This preoccupation with seeing only one part of the total picture in great measure contributes to the social state of affairs we find ourselves in currently on the Rock. State Sovereignty can only be one of several important parallel tracks that Gibraltar politics must be concerned with and cannot be used to justify abandonment or backwardness with regard to other areas of concern to Gibraltarians. The same argument applies in reverse – we cannot be so concerned about social issues that we abandon the important issue of State Sovereignty!”
Furthermore, Alvarez added that “it was always apparent to us and we made our views clear from the start that there could be no self-determination or indeed any reform where the self-determination of individuals was ignored in favour of the self-determination of the State. Fifty years ago it might have been possible to put the State before the citizen, but today that is no longer a feasible way to look at things since the life of the individual determines the life of the entity we call the State. What Gibraltar needs is a fundamental, principled Constitutional text which not only deals with the self-determination of the State in all its aspects (and not just the limited aspects reflected in the proposed new text) but one in which the State’s rights are built on the solid foundation of modern democracy - something which the new text bypasses. GGR has opposed acceptance of these inadequate proposals from day one and we continue opposing them now the outcome is known. We will continue to work for a modern Gibraltar with or without a new Constitution so that we can have the kind of open 21st Century European democracy we deserve on the Rock and not a status dictated by the terms of a 300 year old legally questionable Treaty between undemocratic Monarchs.”