linguoboy wrote:No they didn't; only the New Territories were leased, not the entire colony. The return of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon was painstakingly negotiated and would not have happened if the British Government hadn't been convinced that the rights of native Hong Kongers would be respected. So even though they weren't directly consulted, protection of their interests was central to the process.
Well, that's true, but China was also slightly more daunting than Spain is.
A government which can't fairly obtain the consent of the governed is illegitimate. This is true regardless of the length of time they hold the territory. In most cases where there's been widespread resistance to the imposition of a new regime, the detractors have been proved right. How many counterexamples can you think of?
Like South Vietnam?
Anyway, Gibraltar is a tax-haven, and regardless of this UK-Spain issue, it should change. Sure, it's good for the local economy (that's why they're so hell-bent on letting the things be the way they are) but on a larger scale it's not for the countries' economies.