Brexit “must work for Gibraltar too”, Prime Minister Theresa May said yesterday as she reiterated her government’s position that the Rock is covered by the withdrawal negotiations.
Speaking after delivering a statement in the House of Commons on last week’s EU Council conclusions, the Prime Minister also reaffirmed the UK’s “steadfast support” for Gibraltar and said any withdrawal agreement must work for the Rock too.
She was quizzed on Gibraltar by Labour MP Liz McInnes, who asked Mrs May about progress with negotiations over Gibraltar border.
“Negotiations have been taking place in relations to Gibraltar and we maintain our steadfast support for the people of Gibraltar,” Mrs May replied.
“We have been clear that Gibraltar is covered by our exit negotiations.”
“We’re committed to fully involve them as we exit the EU, we have been involving the Government of Gibraltar in relation to these matters, and we’re looking for a deal that works for the whole of the UK family, and that must work for Gibraltar too.”
“We support the territorial scope of the…draft Withdrawal Agreement, which explicitly includes Gibraltar.”
Mrs May was addressing the Commons as Tory infighting over Europe intensified after leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Prime Minister she must deliver what she promised or risk the collapse of her Government.
Monday’s session in Parliament came ahead of a crunch meeting of her Cabinet at Chequers on Friday to thrash out the UK Government’s plans for the future relationship with Brussels.
Mrs May faces repeated warnings that senior figures in her government are on manoeuvres in preparation for a leadership battle.
In Parliament yesterday, the Prime Minister was asked about reports that the UK Government was considering legal re-entry into a form of European unity, such as the European Economic Area.
Mrs May dismissed joining the EEA after Brexit, saying it is not the “right” option as it would fail to deliver on the referendum vote.
Mr Rees-Mogg, tipped as a potential Tory leader, insisted he was “confident” that Mrs May would deliver the Brexit she had promised – with the UK leaving the single market and customs union and outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
But writing in The Daily Telegraph yesterday, Mr Rees-Mogg warned the PM that backsliding could result in splitting the party like Sir Robert Peel, who plunged it into the political wilderness for nearly three decades following bitter divisions over trade reforms.