Gibraltar chief minister plays down Brexit ‘concessions’ furore

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The chief minister of Gibraltar has said the UK has “not let Gibraltar down” by agreeing concessions with Spain and has assured citizens that the reported legal declarations made as part of the EU’s Brexit agreement have “no legal standing”.

Taking to Gibraltar’s TV channel GBC for a live ministerial statement, Fabian Picardo moved to dispell the assertions made by Spain’s premier, Pedro Sanchez, that the UK had made concessions over Gibraltar.

Picardo said Spain had actually sought a change to the legal text of the withdrawal agreement and had in fact failed to achieve this because UK PM Theresa May had “stood firm”in the UK’s support of Gibraltar’s sovereignty.

Official UK backing
The UK’s permanent representative to the EU has also sent letters to the Secretary General of the Council and the Secretary General of the Commission to recall that the UK has no doubt about the sovereignty of the UK over Gibraltar. In addition, the UK will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes, nor enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content.

These letters were sent in response to the letter of 24 November 2018 from the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission to the President of the Government of Spain, and in response to the Statement to the minutes of the European Council (Article 50) meeting on 25 November 2018 on the territorial scope of the future agreements to be concluded between the Union and the United Kingdom, the UK government statement read.

“The letters also restates that the UK will negotiate future agreements on behalf of all territories, including Gibraltar, for whose external relations it is responsible.” the statement concluded.

As reported by International Investment yesterday, the Spanish premier claimed a victory of sorts stating that an agreement had been made to ensure Spain has a say over the future status of Gibraltar. Spain had threatened to veto the EU Brexit deal over the matter but changed its’ stance with the premier stating that he happy to step back following what is now a disputed agreement over Gibraltar.

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Gary Robinson

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