SPANISH interim Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo is said to have written to all member states except Britain within the European Union asking that when formal negotiations are entered into with regards to Britain’s departure from the Union that the question of Gibraltar and its status should be excluded.
His letter is accompanied by a document which details the Spanish view of the history of the dispute over the Rock and the actions that it would like to see as it believes that the only way forward is to open bilateral negotiations between Britain and Spain.
Following the demand by King Felipe for Gibraltar to ‘lose its colonial status’ within Europe and return to Spain, Mr Margallo continues in the same vein, explaining that a form of joint sovereignty would be beneficial to the people of Gibraltar as they could then feel Spanish as well as British.
Such an arrangement would be to the long-term benefit of all as it would mean that Spain would no longer block EU legislation in the fields of civil aviation, environmental protection or fishing which some member states may consider a strange view as they might perhaps have hoped that Spain would act in the best interest of the Union as a whole rather than to benefit its own territorial claims.
It is understandable that Spain will block any endeavour by Gibraltar to retain some form of membership of the EU when Britain leaves but with British politicians of all sides regularly standing by Gibraltar and its absolute right of self-determination, there would appear to be more style than substance in the interim Foreign Minister’s expectations.