This article analyses how the United Kingdom perceived both the internal and external dimensions of the Spanish transition to democracy between 1975 and 1986. Furthermore, it analyses how the dispute over Gibraltar influenced the perceptions and the attitudes of the British government vis a vis these dimensions of the transition. The article is divided into two parts. The first one consists of a brief summary of the interests and the cautious intervention of the uk in the Spanish democratization. The second part is based on primary sources, and it focuses on the British attitude towards the Spanish foreign policy. The combination of both parts sheds new light on the perceptions, interests and attitudes of the uk towards the changes that occurred in Spain in the 1970s and 1980s. What emerges is that, while keeping a cautious attitude towards Spain, the British government saw its objectives in the Spanish internal and external transitions fulfilled. The British government tried to promote Spain’s nato membership by being concessive on Gibraltar. At the same time, the uk did not hesitate to use the Spanish desire to join the eec as leverage for ending the restrictions Spain had imposed on the Rock. Precisely this factor allowed the British government to dissociate as much as possible the issue of Spanish nato membership and the conflict over Gibraltar, while holding on to the goal of seeing the restrictions over the Rock lifted.
|Translated title of the contribution||The internal and external Transition in Spain as seen by the British Foreign Office (1975-1986). Between democratization, anchoring in the West and Gibraltar|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
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