By Jeff Hay, Melissa R. Jordine

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Extra info for Dispute over Gibraltar (Arbitrary Borders)

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After all, during the negotiations that resulted in Spain ceding Gibraltar, the British occupied more territory than was likely to be ceded under the terms of the treaty. The failure of Britain to obtain a specific agreement on the boundary is also partly explained by the fact that several leading British diplomats favored returning Gibraltar to Spain. It was understood that Gibraltar would be retained until a time when the return of Gibraltar could be used to gain a more valuable territory or the support of Spain in a crucial situation, but the permanent retention of Gibraltar was inconceivable to individuals such as Lord James Stanhope.

An unofficial border was now established between the Iberian Peninsula and Gibraltar. The Spanish had established a fortified line beyond the range of the British guns and this was the official line of demarcation although unofficially there was a “neutral” zone between the British and Spanish lines. It was not until the Seven Years’ War broke out in 1756 that the issue of the return of Gibraltar was once again raised. The British admiral, Sir John Byng (George’s son), did not effectively challenge the French fleet or reinforce Gibraltar or Port Mahon in Minorca.

The UN seemed to support Spain’s position when it recommended that Britain negotiate directly with Spain to end the dispute, while omitting any reference to the population. Britain and Gibraltar insisted that Gibraltar must remain under British control. 18 THE DISPUTE OVER GIBRALTAR virtually indistinguishable from those in Britain. The oldest newspaper, the Gibraltar Chronicle, began as a British garrison newspaper. Education is set up along British lines at the secondary level, and some students complete a university degree in England.

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