Brexit EU’s Barnier calls for calm over Gibraltar
Hpwever, later in the day a spokesman for Spain’s foreign ministry denied that a Spanish vessel had made such an incursion into the disputed waters off the British enclave.
Dastis did stress that Madrid would not welcome the disintegration of the United Kingdom and said that Scotland would have to apply for European Union membership, a process fraught with uncertainty that is likely to take several years.
Spain’s Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said on Monday that he was a little surprised by the tone coming out of Britain over Gibraltar and called for calm.
Critics have condemned the peer’s comparison of the situation on the Rock to the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, and ISC chairman Dominic Grieve said there was “no evidence” for Lord Howard’s remarks.
The dispute escalated since the circulation of the EU’s draft Brexit negotiating guidelines on Friday appeared to offer Spain a right of veto over Gibraltar’s future trade relations with the bloc.
Former Tory leader Lord Howard’s suggestion that Theresa May would be prepared to go to war over Gibraltar has been dismissed as “apocalyptic” by the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.
Some 209 MEPs supported three amendments tabled about Gibraltar, although none were taken on board.
Mrs. May said they remain absolutely dedicated to working with Gibraltar for the best possible outcome on Brexit, and will continue to involve them fully in the process.
“Illegal incursion into #British #Gibraltar Territorial Waters by Spanish Navy patrol ship Infanta Cristina this afternoon”, said the local government in its twitter account alongside with a short video.
“Gibraltar’s sovereignty has not changed, it will not change, and can not change without the consent of the people of Gibraltar and the UK”.
Incidents of this nature are not uncommon, but this one comes after a row broke out over Gibraltar last week when the European Union said that Spain should have a veto on extending any trade deal to the territory after Britain leaves the bloc.
The Prime Minister spoke to Gibraltar’s leader Fabian Picardo to tell him the United Kingdom remained “absolutely dedicated to working with Gibraltar for the best possible outcome on Brexit”. In a 2002 referendum, 98 percent of the populace voted against a proposal for joint British-Spanish sovereignty.
“Initially, I don’t think we would block it”, he said in an interview published in El Pais.
Lord Hannay of Chiswick, an independent crossbencher and former British ambassador to the European Union, took a sideswipe at those who campaigned for Brexit, which included Lord Howard.