Spain maintains Gibraltar joint sovereignty offer

Alfonso Dastis describes the Spanish proposal as extremely generous

The ongoing disagreement between Spain and the UK over sovereignty in Gibraltar, an issue which obviously also concerns the Gibraltarian government and people, appears to have quietened down since Alfonos Dastis relieved José Manuel García-Margallo as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the new Spanish government on 4th November, but on Thursday it became clear that Spain’s claims to the Rock have not softened.

Sr Dastis may be a more discreet diplomat than his predecessor but the two men clearly share the same views regarding Gibraltar, and the new Minister repeated Sr García-Margallo’s “generous” offer of joint sovereignty after Brexit at the “Foro España Internacional” event on Thursday.

“If Gibraltar wishes to benefit from the rights and advantages of belonging to the EU”, according to Sr Dastis, “the best way is the proposal of shared sovereignty, which is extremely generous”. Should this offer be declined, he went on to make it clear that any relationship which Gibraltar hopes to maintain with the EU will have to be ratified by an agreement with Spain.

Speaking on the terms of Brexit as a whole, the Minister advocated the negotiation of the best agreement possible, with the EU showing generosity while at the same time maintaining a firm line which will benefit the inhabitants of the Union.

At the same time, the Gibraltar government reports that Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has been invited to give evidence to the UK House of Commons Select Committee on Exiting the European Union on 25th January. Mr Picardo commented that he is “very happy that the Commons Brexit Select Committee has asked to hear from Gibraltar on the issues that matter to us in respect of Exiting the European Union. This is a further and important opportunity to ensure that Gibraltar’s concerns are understood and remain in the public consciousness in the United Kingdom and in the minds of UK parliamentarians in particular.”

 

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