“This joke is over” Jose Garcia-Margallo, Spanish Foreign Minister told his British counterpart William Hague this week regarding the Gibraltar sovereignty dispute.
In an interview with Antenna 3 this week Garcia-Margallo said that “now that I am Foreign Minister I have not forgotten the claim over Gibraltar. We are going to change the policy towards Gibraltar.”
The remarks are likely to be discussed by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo when he meets in London for the first time since the General election with Europe Minister David Lidington.
“Up to 2002 there was the tripartite forum where UK, Spain and Gibraltar sat. And Gibraltar tried to talk about sovereignty, about jurisdiction, about things that are the preserve of the main countries. I told the minister (Hague) that on sovereignty and jurisdiction the interlocutors are UK and Spain” Garcia-Margallo said in the interview.
The Spanish minister said that he had added that if they were going to talk about co-operation “which seems good to me as it favours both sides of the fence (reja) then Spain, UK, the Junta de Andalucía and Gibraltar will be present. That should be the symmetry.”
But he added that “we will progress on that as we progress on sovereignty matters. We are not going to be talking permanently of co-operation if we do not advance on the fundamental issue of sovereignty”.