The Government has noted the comments about Gibraltar made by the Foreign Minister of Spain following 19th November meeting of the General Affairs Council of the European Union.
The Chief Minister has immediately been in touch with the Prime Minister’s office in Downing Street.
In response, the United Kingdom Government has reiterated that the draft Withdrawal Agreement agreed last week covers Gibraltar. The Prime Minister has also been clear that the UK will not exclude Gibraltar from the negotiations on the future relationship and repeated that she wants to get a deal that works for the whole UK family.
It does not come as a surprise that Madrid should seek to raise new Gibraltar issues at the last minute in our negotiations to leave the EU. Raising issues at the eleventh hour is a well-known tactic that has been used by Spain in the past while we were in the EU.
It is regrettable that the position adopted by Madrid today runs contrary to the positive and constructive approach experienced in face to face discussions involving Gibraltar during the EU Exit process. These discussions commenced under the Partido Popular Government in March and were continued by the incoming PSOE administration as from June.
The Chief Minister of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC, said; “It’s no surprise that we are seeing the Spanish Government raise issues at the last minute. The position taken by the Spanish Government today does little to build mutual confidence and trust going forward. The language of vetos and exclusions should be the language of the past. It has no place in the modern Europe of today at a time when both the United Kingdom and Gibraltar are trying to build a new positive future relationship with the EU.”