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Spain to thwart Brexit deal over Gibraltar claim

gibraltarYesterday’s agreement between the UK and Brussels to work within a 21 month Brexit transition period (HERE) may be scuppered by Spain which still wants Gibraltar and seeks major concessions in an effort to control this spec of British territory.

Madrid’s reaction to the withdrawal agreement which contains the timeline for the transition period, has been a threat to withhold support just days before the deal is due to be signed by EU member states as it wants a veto on Gibraltar enjoying the single market and customs union.

Spain already has the EU’s agreement that the UK must come to a two way agreement over The Rock or it will not sign any UK-Brussels deal.

The president of the European council, Donald Tusk, has warned of a possible breakdown in the talks due to Spain’s political chicanery and much behind the scenes diplomacy is being carried out to enable at least the transition agreement to be agreed on, an agreement that the UK’s negotiator, David Davis, has said “included Gibraltar.”

The EU’s negotiator, Michel Barnier, confirmed that the transition deal can not be agreed without Spain’s signature on the document, leaving Davis the prospect of a failed deal even on the timing of withdrawal or dropping Gibraltar into Madrid’s lap.

Gibraltar is a recognised British Overseas Territory but has been officially claimed by Spain since General Franco made it his government's policy.

There is no question that Gibraltar is British. The Rock was captured in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession with the Spanish Crown formally ceding the territory in perpetuity to the British Crown in 1713, under Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht.

Spain attempted to recapture the territory during the thirteenth siege (1727) and the Great siege (1779–1783). British sovereignty over Gibraltar was confirmed in later treaties signed in Seville (1729) and the Treaty of Paris (1783) yet Spanish governments have brought up the 'Gibraltar question' whenever domestic support is on the wane and political support can be increased by some well-timed nationalist rhetoric.

Reclamation of the territory remained government policy after Franco, with the Gibraltarians constant in their rejection of all claims from Madrid.  In the 2002 referendum, the people of Gibraltar rejected a joint sovereignty proposal, one which Spain and the United Kingdom were said to have reached "broad agreement."

The British Government also has stated that it would "never ... enter into an agreement on sovereignty without the agreement of the Government of Gibraltar and their people".

The British Government now refuses to discuss sovereignty without the consent of the Gibraltarians but is being drawn into a bilateral agreement with Spain in order to proceed with the UK exit from the European Union. In the Brexit referendum, Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly that the United Kingdom should remain as part of the EU.

In 2000, a political declaration of unity was signed by the members of the Gibraltar Parliament, stating, "In essence the declaration stated that the people of Gibraltar will never compromise, give up or trade their sovereignty or their right to self-determination; that Gibraltar wants good, neighbourly, European relations with Spain; and that Gibraltar belongs to the people of Gibraltar and is neither Spain's to claim or Britain's to give away."

This position has hardened further and Brussels and Westminster now have a situation on their hands in which either Spain will increase its influence over Gibraltar, or Davis will have to betray Gibraltar's 30,000 British citizens.  

 

Comments  

0 #6 Darcy 2018-03-25 21:09
Jack reacher,
Does that mean you will be going back to England after brexit and we will no longer have to read your insulting comments about Portugal.
Well, I think Gibraltar would be to fair trade off, but the Spanish will not hear of it.
However, enjoy your fantasy of prosperity !!
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+2 #5 Jack Reacher 2018-03-23 17:27
March 28th 2019 will be the biggest party of the century. Unchain ourselves from the shackles of the EU and lead our own prosperous lives taking Gibraltar with us. Freedom!
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0 #4 Margaridaana 2018-03-23 14:22
Who ever in their wildest dreams thought the United States of Europe would work? The French and English don't like each other, the Portuguese and Spanish don't like each other, the Italians and Greeks don't like each other and nobody likes the Germans! 'A doomed marriage' as Daniel Hannan said.
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+2 #3 Poor Portugesa 2018-03-22 12:37
Quoting Melchior
Quoting Melchor:
Ja,ja,no os queda nada jeje

= 'Haha, you do not have anything lol'
A most unworthy (and possibly ignorant) comment. Shame. I wish the 'Rockies' the 'Best of British/Brexit' and shame also on Rajoy's government and the ever-bullying European 'Union', which we also suffer.
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-3 #2 Melchor 2018-03-21 23:34
Ja,ja,no os queda nada jeje
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+6 #1 nogin the nog 2018-03-21 18:00
hmm.
Up yours Mr Rajoy. You might not like the way the voters turned out in the Catalan Region, but we respect the fact that those on Gibraltar want to stay flying the flag.. 8)
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