Madrid sends Brexit "message of calm" to Spaniards who work in Gibraltar

Madrid sends Brexit

Madrid sends Brexit "message of calm" to Spaniards who work in Gibraltar

It says the European Union is now attempting to carve out Gibraltar as a bilateral issue between Spain and the United Kingdom simply to avoid the whole deal being vetoed by Spain.

The guidelines say: "After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the UK may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the kingdom of Spain and the UK".

The clause is likely to face a fierce backlash from London, which has always been engaged in a sovereignty row with Spain over Gibraltar and has pledged to stand by its overseas territory known as the Rock.

Fearing that this type of disruption could happen again without European Union protection, Gibraltarians voted by 96 percent to stay in the bloc in last year's referendum.

The territory's chief minister, Fabian Picardo has said he wants a Brexit deal that preserves access to the EU's single market and guarantees that people can freely move across to Spain.

"The (British) exit negotiations clearly include Gibraltar, despite Spain's attempts to also have Gibraltar excluded from them", Picardo said.

Spain ceded it officially in perpetuity in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

"What we are seeing is a clear manifestation of the predictably predatory attitude that we anticipated Spain would seek to abusively impose on its partners", he added.

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Though Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of remaining in the European Union, the inhabitants of the rock want to stay under United Kingdom jurisdiction.

The EU has put the future of Gibraltar at stake by backing Spain in its dispute with the United Kingdom over the British overseas territory.

The statement from Dastis was interpreted as a "message of calm" to Spaniards who work in Gibraltar, saying their interests will be kept in mind by Spain.

Speaking after the June Brexit vote, Spain's acting foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said he hoped that to seeing the "Spanish flag on the rock [Gilbraltar]" was "much closer" to becoming reality.

This afternoon, the Prime Minister was urged to take action to protect the interests of Gibraltarians.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Theresa May said: "We have been firm in our commitment never to enter arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes, nor to enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content".

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Tom Brake said: "Theresa May must urgently produce a plan that protects the citizens of Gibraltar, including their businesses and communities".

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