Spain has little prospect of gaining joint sovereignty over Gibraltar, Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said this weekend as he acknowledged that Gibraltarians “have a right” to reject the offer. In an interview with the leading Spanish newspaper El País, the foreign minister insisted any post-Brexit relationship between Gibraltar and the EU must first be agreed by the UK and Spain.
The United Kingdom House of Lords EU Select Committee has launched a new short inquiry on the implications of Brexit for Gibraltar. The committee will meet next week and take evidence from Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia and Attorney General Michael Llamas.
Gibraltar “will be part” of the Brexit negotiations, Spain’s Minister for Education, Culture and Sport said on Wednesday, suggesting a marked shift from the hardline stance adopted by former Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo.
The UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee adopted this week a consensus decision setting out the conflicting positions of the British and Spanish governments on Gibraltar, and including – for the first time – Britain’s double-lock commitment on sovereignty. The decision was agreed by Britain and Spain despite the starkly contrasting views set out at the last session of the Fourth Committee in October, as reported by the Gibraltar Chronicle.
Gibraltar “is part of the UK” and its particular circumstances will be reflected in Britain’s exit deal from the EU, the UK’s ambassador to Spain said this week, adding that co-sovereignty was not an option. Simon Manley made the comments in a wide-ranging interview on Brexit published by La Nueva España newspaper on Wednesday.
José Manuel García-Margallo urged his successor to pursue the “opportunities” that Brexit offered Spain in its sovereignty aspirations over Gibraltar. In a farewell speech as he handed over to Alfonso Dastis Quecedo, Spain’s new Minister for Foreign Affairs, García-Margallo listed what he believed were his main achievements in office and included his strategy on the Rock.
For the first time ever, an annual Latin American Summit has endorsed Spain’s position on Gibraltar. Spain’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation in Latin America confirmed that the 32 countries attending have supported Spain’s call to the United Kingdom to start bilateral sovereignty talks over the Rock.
Russia has withdrawn a request to refuel its warships in Ceuta, after Spain became the subject of international criticism, from the NATO secretary general among others. Spain had recently signed statements accusing Russia of war crimes in Syria, where it’s believed the ships are headed.
British PM Theresa May and Scotland’s First Minister clashed at a Downing St Brexit summit dominated by a “very frank exchange of views”, Nicola Sturgeon revealed. Ms Sturgeon branded a warning from Number 10 that the devolved administrations must not try to undermine the UK’s negotiating position as “nonsense” as she labelled the talks between the PM and the leaders of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as “deeply frustrating”.
Gibraltar will be included in whatever deal the United Kingdom negotiates to leave the European Union, Britain’s ambassador to Spain has said. Simon Manley made the comment during a wide-ranging interview with the right-wing Spanish newspaper ABC, during which he also made clear “there is no turning back” from Brexit.