Gibraltar could stall Brexit negotiations as May vows to defend the Rock

The Prime Minister addressing the House of Commons The Prime Minister addressing the House of Commons UK Parliament/Twitter

THERE appears to be considerable confusion over the situation of Gibraltar once the terms of Brexit are agreed as far as Britain and Spain are concerned.

It was understood from the beginning that all agreements which were struck prior to Brexit would also apply to Gibraltar but the EU made it a term of agreement that any subsequent arrangement between the UK and the 27 states would have to be agreed by Spain if Gibraltar was to be included.

The previous Spanish foreign minister José Margallo was an old style reactionary who demanded that Spain should have sovereignty over Gibraltar but Alfonso Dastis his successor has been much more careful in his words, suggesting that Gibraltar should not be a pawn in negotiations.

Now Theresa May has said in Parliament that any implementation period following Brexit should also apply as far as Gibraltar is concerned, but this may well be disputed by Spain who could encourage the other 26 remaining members to back it, so that it may have a right of veto during the transitional period.

The majority of Gibraltarians as well as the estimated 10,000 Spaniards who work on the Rock support Mrs May’s declaration.

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