No amount of “undemocratic pressure” from the Spanish Government will make Gibraltar agree to joint sovereignty, the GSD said yesterday.
The Opposition was reacting to the latest comments from Spain’s acting Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo.
The GSD also welcomed the robust statements by the new Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, who has not only reiterated the double-lock sovereignty commitment to Gibraltar but confirmed that Gibraltar will be fully involved in the discussions on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
“The British public would not forgive any betrayal of Gibraltar if those promises are broken and we have every confidence that will not happen,” the GSD said in a statement.
As well as once floating the joint sovereignty proposal, the Spanish minister this week said Spain would push to exclude Gibraltar from any negotiation between the EU and the UK.
But the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham, said the statements by Sr García-Margallo were “self-serving”.
“Including Gibraltar in the negotiations between the EU and the UK may not be what he wants but it is what senior ministers in the UK Government have promised Gibraltar and it, therefore, makes sense to the UK and Gibraltar,” Mr Feetham said. “Nothing else matters.”
“The problem with Sr García-Margallo is that he has not changed his belligerent tune in four years he has been at the helm of Spanish diplomacy and has achieved nothing for it.”
“It certainly does nothing for the 10,000 Spanish nationals who cross the frontier every day to work in Gibraltar or the economy of the Campo to which Gibraltar is a significant net contributor.”
Mr Feetham nonetheless said the GSD welcomed one part of the Spanish minister’s recent statement, in which he expressed concern for the plight of Spanish workers in Gibraltar.
“Taken to its logical conclusion that must mean that Sr García-Margallo will not support restrictions at the border, because that will affect those very same workers,” Mr Feetham said.
“That expression of concern and its logical conclusion is one that Gibraltar should be consistently reminding the Spanish public.”