BRITAIN’s Prime Minister has said it is “completely unacceptable” to refer to Gibraltar as a colony after the term appeared in an EU document in reference to the British territory.
Theresa May said Gibraltar was a full part of the “UK family” and that would not change after Brexit on Friday March 29.
The Prime Minister’s comments come after Spain pushed for a footnote to be including in a European Council document citing a UN list of territories that are not fully self-governing.
The footnote, in a document about giving British travellers access to the EU’s Schengen free movement area, said: “Gibraltar is a colony of the British crown.”
“There is a controversy between Spain and Britain concerning the sovereignty over Gibraltar, a territory for which a solution has to be reached in light of the relevant resolutions and decision of the General Assembly of the UN,” the footnote stated.
Gibraltar officials said the use of the term colony did not help to create a “climate of trust” between the territory and Spain.
“It is totally irrelevant to our departure from the EU and says more about Spain’s anachronistic obsession with Gibraltar than anything else. This is totally out of place in today’s modern Europe,” Gibraltar said.
Spain has long-standing claims to sovereignty over Gibraltar. The territory was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.