Spain’s socialist party would continue to advocate “dialogue and friendship” with Gibraltar even if the UK voted to leave the European Union, the PSOE’s MP for Cádiz said yesterday during a visit to the Rock.
Salvador de la Encina was speaking just days after the caretaker Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, suggested the Partido Popular would seek to capitalise on a Brexit raising Gibraltar “the very next day”.
Sr de la Encina, who sits on the Foreign Affairs Commission in the Spanish parliament, declined to be drawn specifically on the Sr García-Margallo’s comments.
But he said the PSOE had always advocated good cross-border relations and had maintained the same position since the government of Felipe Gonzalez reopened the border in 1982.
That position would not change in the event that Britain withdrew from the EU, he said.
“My personal wish and that of the socialist party is that the UK and Gibraltar should remain in the European Union,” he told reporters.
“But in a globalised world, whether the UK is in or out of the European Union, we cannot obstruct freedom of movement for people and goods.”
“I cannot envisage a situation in which a socialist government would go against criteria that it has defended in the past.”
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