Spain uses Brexit planning as excuse to steal Gibraltar claiming British territory is a ‘colony’
SPAIN sparked uproar today by trying to exploit the EU’s no deal planning to push its demands for the “decolonisation” of Gibraltar.
In an incendiary move Madrid wants to use every law Brussels passes to help prepare for a crash out to press its sovereignty claim.
It has inserted a footnote into EU legislation to grant Brits visa-free access to the continent highlightingthe dispute over the Rock.
The text says: “There is a dispute between the government of Spain and the government of the UK
concerning sovereignty over Gibraltar.
“The territory is registered on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories of the United Nations, subject to decolonisation.”
Spain argues that Gibraltar is a “colony” of Britain under the UN’s definition, even though 99 per cent of its inhabitants want to stay part of the UK.
Sources said Madrid brings up its sovereignty claim to Gibraltar at “every meeting” of EU ambassadors about Brexit.
And senior eurocrats have warned the UK that Spain will table more demands over the future of the Rock if it tries to reopentalks on the Brexit deal.
But Gibraltar MEP Ashley Fox said: “This is simply more empty posturing by the Spanish
government aimed at boosting its flagging domestic poll ratings.
“In contrast, in the real world, bilateral relations between the UK and Spain are positive."
What is the dispute over Gibraltar?
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the bottom of Spain on the narrow gap between Europe and Africa.Known as the Gib or the Rock, it is a small 2.5-mile-squared area with a population of just 30,000 -but it has huge strategic importance.
It's a British overseas territory, and its people have opted to stay a part of the UK, but the area has been fraught with tensions for years.
Spain originally began controlling Gibraltar in 1501.
But the Rock then came under British control during the War of Spanish Succession in 1704.
Then in 1779 Spain tried but failed to win it back in what was known as the Great Siege of Gibraltar.
The rock was declared a colony in 1830.
The people of Gibraltar voted in 1967 to be a dependency of the United Kingdom.
Spain wants to have a say in the territory, and have been using Brexit to reignite the issue.
Lord Howard compared the squabble over the future of the Spanish tip to Margaret Thatcher’s Falklands war –as the Prime Minister offered reassurance to the people on The Rock that the UK was committed to them.
An EU ruling earlier this year stated that any deal would not apply to the territory without an "agreement between the kingdom of Spain and the UK".
However, MEPS and legal experts claim this effective "veto" would give Spain special status over other EU nations -which are supposed to have equality.
The veto essentially gives Spain far too much powerover the future of Gibraltar, with many accusing Madrid of using Brexit to "mount a land grab" for the Rock.