The Spanish Government is “furious” at Gibraltar’s high profile with EU decision makers, the Rock’s Liberal Democrat MEP, Sir Graham Watson, said on Monday. The lawmaker was speaking on the eve of a three-day visit to Brussels by a delegation from the Gibraltar Government led by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
“Gibraltar is now ‘officially’ an EU policy issue at the highest levels,” Sir Graham said. “The queues at the frontier are the subject of an ongoing European Commission investigation.”
“Other national governments are getting more and more frustrated by Spain’s intractable single-mindedness on the issue.”
The Liberal Democrat MEP said the European Commission was paying attention to the situation at the border and Spain’s attitude toward the Rock. He said the Gibraltar Government’s policy of engaging with the Commission, coupled to the work of MEPs and the recent citizen protests in Brussels, had all helped to raise Gibraltar’s profile.
“We are making our voice heard [and] Madrid is furious,” Sir Graham said. “Despite the Commission’s verdict on the frontier, they are nonetheless at risk of getting into trouble in Brussels for what they are doing.”
“They are in the wrong, and they know it.”
The Gibraltar delegation includes deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia; chief secretary Ernest Gomez; chief legal advisor Michael Llamas; and Gibraltar’s UK representative, Albert Poggio.
The will meet European Commission officials at the highest levels in the Directorates-General responsible for home affairs, taxation, transport, customs, environment and single market.
The delegation will also be meeting key MEPs from across Europe to discuss its EU policy concerns.