Gibraltar is more British than any place in Britain. Displays of patriotism that went out of fashion decades ago on the mainland are common on this strip of land. Gibraltarians emphatically do not want to part with Britain.
In 2002, the people of Gibraltar held a referendum on whether they should remain British or have Britain and Spain share sovereignty over the peninsula. Voter turnout: 87.9 percent. Result: 98.5 percent voted to remain solely British.
In a press release dated August 5, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said “the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Gibraltar.” The current British government has shown no signs of wavering. Instead, as tensions over Gibraltar escalated, it sent a warship to the peninsula last week as part of a “long planned” and routine deployment—a tried and tested response that displays Britain’s power, while not unduly escalating the situation.
These facts all seem to show that Gibraltar will remain British for the next century at least. Same goes for the Falkland Islands. After Margaret Thatcher’s victory over Argentina in 1982, it would be electoral suicide for any government to give the Islands away. Britain has committed to keep these territories British as long as the inhabitants want to remain so—and they show no signs of changing their minds.
Yet, as the Trumpet has said for years, Britain is destined to lose both Gibraltar and the Falklands. That doesn’t mean that we want Britain to lose them, or that we feel these places are rightfully Spanish or Argentine. It’s merely a statement of what is going to happen.
The pressures on Britain to give up these territories will get worse. The idea that recent tensions in Gibraltar are because of the Gibraltarian government’s decision to build an artificial reef is baloney. The reef affects one Spanish fisherman—and even he says he feels used by the Spanish government.
Instead, this is all about busying giddy minds with foreign quarrels. As Spain’s economy worsens, the pressure on Gibraltar increases. Now that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is starting to feel the heat, he’s exploded the Gibraltar bomb. It’s the political equivalent of saying, Quick, look over there!
It’s bad enough for its government that Spain is filled with empty cities and airports, and its youth unemployment is over 56 percent. But now Rajoy is accused of taking illegal payments from a secret fund made up of donations from businesses. In February, 1 million people backed an online petition calling on him to resign; since then the scandal has not gone away. Hence Spain’s “look over there” foreign policy. Argentina’s belligerence over the Falklands comes from similar pressures—pressures that are not going away.
The politicians may change, but Europe’s economic crisis will only get worse before it gets better. While Spain’s economy is weak, there will remain a strong incentive to target Gibraltar.
Meanwhile, some politicians in Britain are very weak. Despite Spain’s recent belligerence, Peter Hain, who served as minister for Europe under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, said on August 6 that sharing sovereignty over Gibraltar with Spain would have “no negatives at all.”
Mr. Blair seemed to regard Gibraltar as an annoying obstacle to a closer relationship with Spain. While Britain’s Conservative Party seems to have Gibraltar’s back, the Labor Party does not.
But the core reason Britain will lose Gibraltar comes from none of these trends: Gibraltar and the Falklands will go because God said it will happen.
Too few take such a statement seriously today.
Militarily, Britain has the power to defend Gibraltar and the Falklands (although with recent military cuts it may not be able to retake them). The inhabitants of both territories overwhelmingly want to remain British; and Britain has promised to defend them. Their loss will be a monumental humiliation.
Apart from Bible prophecy, there are some indications that Britain will lose these territories, but no certainty. As Herbert W. Armstrong explained in his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Britain and America were given control of strategic sea gates around the world. Now God is taking them away. Only Gibraltar and the Falklands remain.
The Bible also states that God says, “I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:19). The loss of Gibraltar and the Falklands would be a clear demonstration of this. When these territories go, it will show the world that although Britain has the power to defend them and has promised to defend them, it lacks the will to do so.
When the last of these territories is lost, Britain’s retreat from empire will be complete. That day should be a warning that God is against Britain, and that Mr. Armstrong’s warnings were right. Given all that Britain’s leaders have said in defense of these territories, it should be a wake-up call for the nation. It should show that even when all the circumstances are in Britain’s favor, the nation still loses because God is punishing it. However, it will, in all probability, be greeted with a shrug.
Britain’s retreat from the world isn’t because the nation is now more mature—that we’re all better people now than we were 100 years ago, which is the view British intellectuals like to take. It’s because God is withdrawing His blessings from the nation. The strategic sea gate of Gibraltar will be taken away before long, and after that it’s only going to get worse for Britain. For the full warning of what is prophesied to happen to Britain and why, read our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. It forecast the loss of many of Britain’s and America’s sea gates. Now only two are left.
On the day Britain loses Gibraltar, perhaps even more people will be motivated to read this book. ▪