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Brexit: London and Madrid disagree on Gibraltar

DECLARATION:  Gibraltar is a British territory since 1704 …

The British will not give up Gibraltar. The Minister of Brexit, David Davis, said on Monday that the UK was “determined” to support this British territory enclave on Spanish soil, at a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs in Madrid, said Downing Street at a regular press briefing.

David Davis “echoed the clear words of the Prime Minister regarding our legal position of Gibraltar and that we are committed in our support for Gibraltar,” said the spokesman, adding that the meeting with Alfonso Dastis had been ” very friendly. ”

“Gibraltar is not for sale”

The “Rock”, another name commonly given to Gibraltar, is the heart of a heated debate between London and Madrid since the Friday of the project of “orientation of negotiations” output in the UK of the European Union . This document stipulates that Spain will give the green light to an agreement on the Brexit can apply to this British territory. The provision concerns Gibraltar politicians who fear that Madrid can exclude the enclave of any future trade agreement.

The British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has assured him Sunday that “Gibraltar is not for sale.” Alfonso Dastis has sought reassurance Monday. “We will not put obstacles to relations with the United Kingdom or with the people of Gibraltar,” said he said at a conference in Madrid, stressing that it was not in the interest of Spain, which also works to protect the inhabitants of the border region of Gibraltar, of which 10,000 are employed in the enclave.

A comparison that goes wrong

Alfonso Dastis also regretted the absence of “traditional British phlegm” after a former Conservative leader compared the Spanish-British dispute over Gibraltar to the Falklands War against Argentina. “For 35 years this week, another Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher) sent an expeditionary force to the other side of the world to defend freedom of another small group of British against another Spanish-speaking country,” said Michael Howard to the Sky News television channel. “I am absolutely sure that the Prime Minister today (Theresa May) will show the same determination to stand alongside the people of Gibraltar,” he added.

Remarks that London has refrained from criticizing. “Lord Howard was just trying to show our determination to protect the rights and sovereignty of Gibraltar,” said the Downing Street spokesman.

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