§ Mr. McQuarrie
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the results of the visit to Gibraltar by Lord Belstead; and which bodies had discussions with him during the visit.
§ Mr. Hurd
My noble Friend visited Gibraltar from 21 to 23 July. He had wide-ranging and useful discussions with the Gibraltar Government and with representatives of many sectors of opinion in Gibraltar.
One of the topics discussed was the effect the continued closure of the Spanish frontier will have on Gibraltar's economy. My noble Friend made clear that the Government will continue their policy of supporting and sustaining Gibraltar and gave details of the projects already approved in connection with the £4 million of aid agreed in December 1981.
My noble Friend confirmed that the Government have no plans to alter the decision to close the naval dockyard in 1983. He also made it clear that, if both the British and Gibraltar Governments conclude that a commercial operation is viable, the British Government will consider carefully ways in which we might help to get it launched.
My noble Friend reaffirmed the Government's commitment to the process envisaged in the Lisbon agreement. We look forward to the complete removal of Spanish restrictions and the re-establishment of normal relations between people living in the area.