A MAJORITY of MEPs, led by Conservatives have had a section from a report on EU transport policy removed.
The report on the implementation of the Commission’s 2011 White Paper on transport, included what the Tories have termed a needless reference to Gibraltar which invited the EU’s Council of Ministers to ‘resolve the UK-Spain dispute over Gibraltar, which is currently impeding numerous legislative files.’
Conservative MEPs said Gibraltar’s sovereignty was not a matter for the EU and that any legislative delays arose from Spain reneging on its commitments under the Cordoba agreement as under the terms of the agreement, Gibraltar is fully recognised as a part of the EU’s single market and therefore should be fully included in EU aviation legislation.
Jacqueline Foster, transport spokesman and Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs, said ‘as long as Spain was challenging Gibraltar’s sovereignty there can be no movement’ on key proposals.
‘I am delighted that a majority of MEPs agreed with me that this report on EU transport policy should not have been wading in to the issue of Gibraltar’s sovereignty. This is an important first step. However, for as long as Spain continues to challenge its sovereignty there can, regrettably, be no movement on key proposals such as Single Sky and the Passenger Rights regulations,’ she said.
Gibraltar’s Conservative MEP Julie Girling observed ‘EU citizens using Gibraltar Airport should not be denied EU rights because Spain chooses to pursue a sovereignty dispute. My constituents in Gibraltar are as much members of the EU single market as constituents anywhere else in the South West.’
It is her contention that ‘It is unacceptable for Spain to attempt to force the UK to enter into sovereignty negotiations. Frustratingly Spain continues to block important EU aviation legislation which would benefit many more European citizens.’