WELL, the week after Theresa May signed Article 50 with a rather stylish Mont Blanc pen, setting Brexit wheels in motion, was certainly interesting …
I’m writing this column from an office overlooking the Med and just popped my head out of the window to see if the Armada had just sailed past.
In a brilliant tactical move, Olive Press Editor Jon Clarke (who has a touch of the military bearing about him and has gone full Genghis Khan on your humble correspondent on more than one occasion, normally over missed deadlines and huge expense bills), decided to relocate the newspaper offices from their ‘eagles eyrie’ in the lofty heights of Ronda to the ‘wolves den’ of Sabinillas.
At a stroke he has ensured that the entire newsroom can be on the front line in minutes.
Having been sent out to grab a burger on several late deadline nights, I can attest that ‘Sabi’ at 2am has a touch of Aleppo about it.
And should it all kick off between the UK and Spain, I’m sure OP reporters and columnists will rise to the challenge, don flack jackets, pack water and medical supplies and head off towards La Linea.
In fact, it makes good sense to take those items with you anyway if you are planning to cross into Gibraltar. Because even if the UK decides not to take action, something tells me you could have quite a wait crossing the border if the Guardia Civil see the ‘Up Yours Señors’ front page of The Sun.
Personally reporting from a war zone holds no fears for me.
I’ve lived the type of lifestyle that’s seen frequent sudden violence, hostile locals and automatic weapons fire, and that was without leaving the bars in Banus.
As the Editor will attest, I’ve gone MIA before, under his watch and he’s had to come up with briefcases of cash on more than one occasion, though it’s not so much ransom money as unpaid bar tabs.
The statement from Number 10 that it wasn’t going to send a boat to defend Gibraltar also made me double take.
Apart from the sheer insanity of that plan, the Royal Navy isn’t what it once was.
When I spoke to British Ambassador Simon Manley pre- EU referendum, I jokingly asked that, should the UK decide to Brexit, would Britain send aircraft carriers over to pick up all the Brits in Spain?
“We don’t have enough carriers,” he deadpanned.
This means that the only taskforce that would be able to defend Gib would be a Dunkirk-style flotilla of small craft from local marinas – jets skis from Marbella, yachts from Sotogrande, floating gin palaces from Puerto Banus and a few of those, ahem, ‘sports’ boats from Duquesa.
I’ll even throw in one of the boats from the lake!
In order to come to a diplomatic solution to all of this mess, however, I’ve come up with the following cunning plan – Spain can drop all claim to Gibraltar if it can have the Costa del Sol back from the British!