Gibraltar discusses significance of 2002 referendum on 20th anniversary (How Jack Straw nearly sold-out Gib.)

Gibraltarians have been discussing the significance of the 2002 referendum on its 20th anniversary.

With a high turnout, 99% voted 'No’ - no to joint sovereignty talks on any deal involving shared sovereignty with Spain.

By the summer of 2002, the UK and Spain had agreed that shared sovereignty was the best way forward.

But their negotiations had not included Gibraltarians or our then chief minister. Peter Caruana’s Government called its own referendum.

The people of Gibraltar gave a clear answer: an emphatic 'No!' to any Joint Sovereignty deal. At the time, Edwin Reyes was the head of the Gibraltar Council of representative bodies. He recalls the warnings by Gibraltarians to Jack Straw, the then Foreign Secretary, during his visit to Gibraltar.

The important moments from that referendum night were relived today, as GBC television broadcast its original coverage of the Referendum Count in full.

Gibraltar’s decision to call the vote was criticised as eccentric at the time. But 20 years on, the impact of the landslide result continues to be felt.

In '20 Years Ago' James Neish looks back at the failed joint sovereignty proposals and the events that led up to the 2002 Sovereignty Referendum in Gibraltar. On the 7th November 2002 99% voted to reject the proposals announced by Jack Straw - then Foreign Secretary - just months earlier. Now, exactly 20 years later James Neish, who was a young reporter covering the events, looks back at this crucial moment in our political development.

# Crown Prince Michael in Gibraltar.