Gibraltar: a Brexit negotiating weapon for Madrid, EU

  • Gibraltar: a Brexit negotiating weapon for Madrid, EU

Gibraltar: a Brexit negotiating weapon for Madrid, EU

The territory's government announced the alleged incursion by the Spanish ship Infanta Cristina on its official Twitter account.

An FCO spokesperson said: "The Royal Navy challenges all unlawful maritime incursions into British Gibraltar territorial waters - and did so again on this occasion".

The Union Jack, the Gibraltarian flag and the European Union flag are seen flying, at the border of Gibraltar with Spain, in front of the Rock in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain April 3, 2017.

Gibraltar's chief minister Fabian Picardo called on the draft guidelines to be removed, saying the territory's 30,000 residents would not "tolerate being a bargaining chip or a victim" for Brexit negotiations.

But the European Commission's assertion that Spain can decide whether a deal over Britain's departure from the EU applies to Gibraltar or not, will invigorate Spanish politicians, and in particular the current right-wing government.

Unexpectedly, the guidelines included a section saying that any deal between Britain and the European Union would not apply to the territory of Gibraltar unless Spain agrees. The EU inclusion of Gibraltar angered many British lawmakers, but there's little they can do, says Professor Andrew Canessa, a Gibraltar expert at the University of Essex.

Mrs May insisted that Britain's relations with Spain remain on a basis of "jaw-jaw", after a predecessor as Conservative leader suggested she might be ready to resort to war to defend Gibraltar.

One senior figure from the Gibraltar industry said there had been predictions of the sector's demise for a number of years, yet "each and every hurdle has been overcome".

He said, "Thirty five years ago another woman prime minister sent a taskforce to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish-speaking country.

Gibraltar is going to be protected all the way because the sovereignty of Gibraltar can not be changed without the agreement of the people of Gibraltar", Sir Michael Fallon, the U.K.'s secretary of defense, said on "The Andrew Marr Show".

The gambling industry in Gibraltar is estimated to employ around 3,000 people, with another 1,000 indirectly depending on the sector for employment, many of them living on the Spanish side of the border.

"It was met by the Gibraltar Squadron and invited to leave". In that referendum, about 99 percent voted to remain with the U.K. Only 187 of people voted in favor of joining up with Spain, according to the Guardian.

Gibraltar is a strategic British territory located at the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern tip of Spain's Iberian Peninsula with an area of 6.7 square kilometers.