What if Gibraltar's military interests clashed with its civilian interests? Charles Gomez addresses point in lecture to University of Cadiz students

Is it in the UK’s military interests that the airfield at North Front and the port area become subject to Schengen controls?

The question was posed by lawyer Charles Gomez in a lecture at the University of Gibraltar about the interface of military and civilian interests.

He said British military interests remain very influential or even determinative in Gibraltar.

He said he didn’t know whether Schengen controls at the airfield and the port would interfere with the promotion of those military interests. Interests which he said had received ‘a great deal of weight’ recently given ‘the drums of war are banging louder not just in Ukraine and Israel but also in the Red Sea, the Baltic, and the south China Sea’.

Against this backdrop, Mr Gomez underscored the Governor’s reserve legislative powers and the fact that the Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor, who - he said - is ‘the head of the Gibraltar government’.

Mr Gomez said the UK retains powers of local legislation via the Royal Prerogative, which appear in an Annex at the very end of the Gibraltar Constitution. And that, aside from the Parliament, the Crown can make laws for the peace, order, and good government of Gibraltar.

Mr Gomez was speaking to Masters students reading international law and international affairs at the University of Cadiz, under the tutorship of Dr Michel Remi, Alejandro del Valle and Dr Jesus Verdu, among others.

Earlier in the day, the visiting team was briefed by the Chief Minister at Number Six Convent Place.

After the lecture, Mr Gomez says there was considerable interest from the students, who had a number of searching questions for him, including: in the event that Gibraltar’s civilian interests were to clash with its military interests, who could Gibraltar turn to for help, the United Nations?

Mr Gomez answered that the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonisation, which deals with the supervision of the administration of non-self-governing territories, had ‘notoriously been absent from all matters relating to Gibraltar’ and that he did not think the UN - or indeed any other international body - could be appealed to in such a situation.

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