27 Nov 2018
Spain has reached an agreement with the EU and UK over the status of Gibraltar once Brexit takes place, with Theresa May giving in to Madrid’s demands.
On Saturday, following “difficult” but “fruitful” negotiations, the British ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, announced that Gibraltar would not necessarily be covered by a future trade deal with the EU.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez previously threatened to block approval for a Brexit deal, but has now celebrated the last-minute agreement – which favoured Spain.
Once the Withdrawal Agreement had been authorised by EU leaders in Brussels, Mr Sánchez said, “With Brexit we all lose, especially the United Kingdom, but when it comes to Gibraltar, Spain wins.”
On Saturday, Sánchez confirmed a joint declaration from the European Council and European Commission that ascertains the political, legal and geographical relationship of Gibraltar with the EU will “pass through Spain” following Brexit.
Sánchez said: “Once the UK has left the EU, Gibraltar’s political, legal and even geographic relationship with the EU will go through Spain.
“Spain will be a fundamental pillar of the relationship between Gibraltar and the EU as a whole.
“When it comes to the future political declaration, the European council and the European commission have backed Spain’s position, and backed it as never before.
Sánchez refrained from addressing further plans regarding co-sovereignty over Gibraltar.
“We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves,” he said. “We will talk about everything. The goal is to solve, once and for all, a conflict that has lasted 300 years.”
When queried whether the EU’s assurances were legally binding, Sánchez said there was no doubt regarding the statement’s validity.
A high-ranking EU official confirmed by saying, “That document will be the basis of any future negotiation with the UK, and Gibraltar will never be included; Spain’s approval will always be required.”