Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alfonso Dastis, will visit the Campo de Gibraltar in September to discuss the impact of Brexit on cross-border workers and the wider region. The forthcoming visit was announced late Thursday night following a meeting in Madrid between the minister and officials from the Campo.
Spain will not put Gibraltar at the centre of Brexit negotiations, the country’s Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis Quecedo, said in an interview with the Financial Times. Dastis Quecedo told the newspaper that the EU should start trade talks with Britain relatively soon and had no plan to impose a “punitive” Brexit deal that would weaken London as a financial centre.
Britain has protested to Spain after a Spanish warship “manoeuvred dangerously” during an incursion into British Gibraltar territorial waters, risking collision with a Royal Navy patrol boat.
Britain cannot allow Spain to continue to ignore international law and bully Gibraltar, said MP Andrew Rosindell following the latest incursion in Gibraltar waters, this time a Spanish Customs crew that actually fired shots to a British-Gibraltarian fishing cruise.
The Spanish Government’s measures toward Gibraltar are ‘bearing fruit, Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel García-Margallo said in a weekend interview in which he vowed to maintain pressure on the Rock. Although the minister’s tough language on Gibraltar was nothing new, it was the second time within the space of a week that he had spoken out on the Rock.
Gibraltar’s Conservative MEP Ashley Fox is compiling a dossier of constituent complaints and experiences of crossing the border in and out of Gibraltar. Mr Fox will hand the dossier to the EU Commission and says it will show Spain is acting “as an aggressor and not a European partner”, according to a report from the Gibraltar Chronicle.
Gibraltar has accused Spain of having chosen once again not to behave as European partners as a result of the latest pedestrian delays at the border. The Gibraltar Office in Brussels was asked to relay information to the European Commission on the latest delays caused by the introduction of an Automated Border Control system on the Spanish side.
The Gibraltar Government has included the long queues of last Thursday afternoon at the frontier with Spain in its latest report to the European Union. Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said the report will be presented “in order to draw attention to the manner in which the Spanish government is implementing the recommendations made by the commission”.
The British and Spanish foreign ministers sought to highlight a renewed drive toward an ‘ad hoc’ dialogue on Gibraltar this week, but in doing so drew firm red lines that signaled just how difficult that task will prove. The coordinated message was positive and hinted at the possibility of talks ‘in the near future’ if a format could be agreed. But on core issues, there was no change.
Spanish Foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo addressing parliament on Tuesday described the current diplomatic conflict with the UK as an ‘important fire’ and blamed it on three apparently minor incidents: Gibraltar authorities having dropped the agreement with Spanish fishermen a year ago; the recent dumping of cement blocks in the bay of Algeciras (Gibraltar) and the construction of a new reef.