EU Wants Spain To Control How Brexit Affects Gibraltar

David Cameron met Mr Stoltenberg at No 10 in 2015

In its opening negotiating position on Brexit, the European Union has said whatever deal is negotiated, it will not apply to Gibraltar without Spain's agreement.

"He said: "[This] was the predictable machination of Spain that the people of Gibraltar foresaw and one of the reasons why we voted so massively to remain in the EU.

Britain and Spain have engaged in centuries of squabbling over the territorial status of "the rock", and the EU's stance is likely to intensify those arguments.

In 2002, they also voted to reject the idea of shared sovereignty between the United Kingdom and Spain.

The tiny British overseas territory on Spain's southern tip has always been the subject of an acrimonious sovereignty row between London and Madrid, which wants Gibraltar back after it was ceded to Britain in 1713.

As part of the EU's Brexit talk guidelines, Spain is set to be given the power veto a future trade deal if it is not given a say over the future of Gibraltar, the southern tip of "Spain" which remains under British control and is home to some 30,000 Britons.

Gibraltarians want to stay British, as demonstrated in 2002 when they rejected a referendum on shared sovereignty with Spain.

Some 96% of Gibraltar's citizens voted to remain in the EU.

"We have been firm in our commitment never to enter arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes, nor to enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content", May said.


Gibraltar expressed outrage Friday at how it said Spain is using the U.K.'s impending departure from the European Union to force renegotiations on the future of Gibraltar, the territory that Spain has been trying to get back from Britain for 300 years.

Picardo also said the draft would not change anything regarding "our continued, exclusive British Sovereignty".

Tom Brake the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman said: "Confirmation that Gibraltar's future must be agreed by the United Kingdom and Spain shows just how damaging the Government's hard Brexit will be on this strategically important British territory".

Mr Picardo said he had spoken to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who he described as "implacable" in the defence of the rights of Gibraltar.

The statement from Dastis was interpreted as a "message of calm" to Spaniards who work in Gibraltar, saying their interests will be kept in mind by Spain.

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Tom Brake said: "Theresa May must urgently produce a plan that protects the citizens of Gibraltar, including their businesses and communities".

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said: "The issue of Gibraltar is clearly a hard and thorny issue, but the truth is the people of Gibraltar want to remain British and they should do".

Spain ceded it officially in perpetuity in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

Andrew Rosindell of the All-Party Parliamentary Group For Gibraltar said "an agreement without including Gibraltar means there can be no agreement".

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