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Montevideo, November 15th 2018 - 15:39 UTC

Spain anticipates closed frontier if Gibraltar does not accept joint sovereignty

Wednesday, October 19th 2016 - 07:33 UTC
Full article 24 comments
Garcia Margallo warned that as a result of Britain leaving the EU would become an external frontier again and thus the end to free movement across Gibraltar Garcia Margallo warned that as a result of Britain leaving the EU would become an external frontier again and thus the end to free movement across Gibraltar
Picardo repeated his line that if sovereignty is the price to pay for access to the single market or free movement, then it is a price Gibraltar will never pay. Picardo repeated his line that if sovereignty is the price to pay for access to the single market or free movement, then it is a price Gibraltar will never pay.
The acting foreign minister said he wants to see the Spanish flag flying over the Rock and “wants to sell joint sovereignty to Gibraltar” The acting foreign minister said he wants to see the Spanish flag flying over the Rock and “wants to sell joint sovereignty to Gibraltar”

Spain's Acting Foreign Minister says free movement across the Gibraltar frontier will automatically end unless Gibraltarians accept joint sovereignty proposal with Spain. Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo was answering a question by Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation at a press conference after he met with Andalusia politicians in Algeciras, including the mayors of Algeciras and La Linea. From Seville Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said no democratic nation would get away closing a frontier.

 García Margallo was introduced by the Mayor of Algeciras, Jose Ignacio Landaluce, who said the Gibraltar question was present in the acting minister's mind the twelve months of the year. Landaluce also praised his attention to detail and capacity for hard work and described his as a leader who not only defended Spain’s sovereignty claim but also the Campo’s economic development.

The acting minister presented Spain’s arguments, highlighting what he saw as the benefits of joint sovereignty.

”(Gibraltar) Chief Minister had been right when he spoke of an existential threat. Nothing will be the same after Brexit“ he said and reiterated how it presented Spain with the best opportunity on the Gibraltar question, in decades.

Garcia Margallo said he was reading his British counterpart, Boris Johnson’s book and still on British literature and in attempt to demonstrate that circumstances had changed from the last time joint sovereignty had been proposed, he quoted Lord Keynes: ”When the facts change, I change my mind, What do you do sir?“. And in that vein, he continued to quote Winston Churchill.
But if the Spanish Foreign Minister had started with impassioned history, his speech became more threatening as he warned of loss of business opportunities on the Rock and troubles ahead, as the frontier by default and as a result of Britain leaving the EU would become an external frontier again.

Praising Gibraltar’s economic model, which he said would be kept in a joint sovereignty scenario, he however then declared himself unhappy with the fiscal arrangements, pointing out Spain had asked the EU to investigate aspects of the Rock’s tax regime.

When asked how a democratic country could reclaim a territory it had ceded over 300 years ago, against the wishes of the people, García Margallo replied that his reputation on democracy is impeccable and that he’s never been accused of being Francoist.

The fact that Gibraltar Chief Minister had declined the invitation to attend was pointed out to him and he was asked whether relations between both were tense.

Garcia Margallo has said he wants to see the Spanish flag flying over the Rock and ”if today he thought he could sell joint sovereignty to Gibraltar, Gibraltar wasn’t there to listen“.

From Seville Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he made it plain clear to his audience that EU treaties will continue to apply to Gibraltar after Article 50 is triggered, until such time as Brexit actually happens.

Addressing the two main trade unions of Andalusia, Picardo has repeated his line that if sovereignty is the price to pay for access to the single market or free movement, then it is a price Gibraltar will never pay.

However Gibraltar is willing to go down the route of dialogue, except in respect of its sovereignty, he pointed out. Finally in response to Garcia Margallo's statement that free movement at the frontier will cease unless Gibraltarians accept joint sovereignty, Picardo argues that today a ”democratic” state could not get away with closing a frontier, especially if it puts 12,000 people out of jobs.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • LEPRecon

    So Spain is trying to blackmail the Gibraltans. It isn't going to work.

    Gibraltar have lived through this kind of thing before and they can live through it again if necessary.

    Besides, why does Margello assume he's or his government is going to be in power to try and implement this in 2 years time?

    Also, what a way to try and woo the people of Gibraltar...by threatening them. What is it about the Latin mentality that makes them believe this is the best way to 'persuade' people to do what they want?

    Like Argentina, Spain uses this made up 'dispute' to try and deflect the attention of their people away from the utter mess they've made of the economy. And as with Argentina it won't work because the people of Gibraltar (like those of the Falklands) realise that it's far better to be British that to be Spanish (or Argentine). Why? Because Spain and Argentina are both basket case countries who lie, cheat and want to steal anything that isn't nailed down, whilst conveniently ignoring their own hypocrisy.

    Oct 19th, 2016 - 09:49 am +13
  • Idlehands

    It's barely a frontier of free movement as it is. What are Spain going to do? Close the border entirely and return to the Franco era? The surrounding Spanish territory will be hit harder than Gibraltarians if they all lose their jobs on the rock.

    Oct 19th, 2016 - 08:49 am +12
  • Brit Bob

    Joint sovereignty?

    A sovereignty claim without a case can only mean that the claim is illegitimate and worthless:

    Some relevant International law:
    https://www.academia.edu/10575180/Gibraltar_-_Some_Relevant_International_Law

    Up to the people of Gibraltar to determine how and by whom they are governed.

    Oct 19th, 2016 - 09:09 am +9
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