KING FELIPE: Spain and UK can overcome Gibraltar differences and maintain strong ties post-Brexit

The Queen gifted King Felipe copies of love letters from his great-grandmother to King Alfonso XIII

LAST UPDATED: 13 Jul, 2017 @ 10:25
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King Felipe

KING Felipe VI of Spain has told the UK the two countries can overcome their differences on Gibraltar and maintain strong ties post-Brexit.

During a speech at Westminster yesterday, the Spanish royal said he believed they could begin ‘the necessary dialogue’ to form an arrangement over Gibraltar.

But the government of the Rock said last night that the king’s focus on a dialogue between London and Madrid was ‘undemocratic’.

While discussing Britain’s decision to leave the EU, Felipe said: “To overcome our differences will be greater in the case of Gibraltar. I am confident through the necessary dialogue and effort, our two governments will be able to work… towards arrangements that are acceptable to all involved.”

The government of Gibraltar has said it would have to be involved in any discussion between Spain and the UK.

Fabian Picardo

It added that two referenda in 1967 and 2002 showed the people of Gibraltar voted to remain British.

Chief minister Fabian Picardo said: “We have no desire to be part of Spain or to come under Spanish sovereignty in any shape or form.

“In the times in which we live, territories cannot be traded from one monarch to another like pawns in a chess game.”

During the speech, King Felipe said Britain and Spain were ‘profoundly intertwined’ and he respected the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

He added that the hundreds of thousands of Brits who live in Spain and Spaniards who live in the UK ‘form a sound foundation for our relations.’

“These citizens have a legitimate expectation of stable living conditions for their families,” he said.

He went on to highlight the importance of the two countries’ trading arrangements, adding that Britain is ‘the second largest investor in our country’.

At the banquet later hosted by the Queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, the Queen acknowledged the two countries had not always seen ‘eye to eye’.

In a speech, she said: “A relationship like ours founded on such great strengths and common interests will ensure that both our nations prosper now and in the future whatever challenges arise.”

Guests at the Buckingham Palace banquet were treated to poached fillet of salmon trout with fennel, followed by a medallion of Scottish beef with bone marrow and truffles, with a sauce made from Madeira, and a dark chocolate and raspberry tart for dessert.

The Queen gifted King Felipe copies of love letters from his great-grandmother to King Alfonso XIII.

Queen Victoria’s grand-daughter Princess Victoria Eugenie met King Alfonso on a state visit to Britain in 1905.

The pair married and Princess Victoria Eugenie became Queen Ena of Spain, making King Felipe a descendant of Queen Victoria.

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4 COMMENTS

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  1. Gibraltarians must be DYING to join a country with far higher rates of corruption, dishonesty, lower presence on the world’s stage, less NHS, higher levels of incompetence and a lower quality of service from the judiciary. When us Spaniards get our act together, maybe it will incentivise Gibraltarians to join us. In the meantime, dream on. (I have relatives who negotiated the return of Gibraltar decades ago, so I know just where this stands today. Plus ca change)

  2. Apart from the MPs who promised to walk out if the Spanish King mentioned Gibraltar, and didn’t have the courage to do so when it came to it, more should be made of the fact that Spain is a poor NATO ally and hypocritical when it comes to it’s own colonies.

    From it’s North African territories it refuels the Russian navy while at the same time denying airspace to one of it’s ‘allies’ military flights into Gibraltar.

    If they want their own way in respect of British Gibraltar then they could start by giving the Catalans a referendum, decolonise their North African enclaves and honour their treaties, in particular the treaty of Versailles in which they accepted the British part of Florida and Majorca to leave Gibraltar alone. OK, give them Gibraltar when they free their colonies and return our bit of Florida and Majorca (although I think the Americans might take exception re: Florida, so Spain can pay the cash equivalent) Until then, Gibraltar remains British.

  3. “In the times in which we live, territories cannot be traded from one monarch to another like pawns in a chess game.”
    Why not? This should always work in a deal between two monarquies. Remember the exchange of the islands of Zanzibar and Helgoland in 1890, during the times of Emperor Wilhelm II and Queen Victoria.
    I suggest to exchange Gibraltar and the Isla de Perejil. The Isla de Perejil is of high military importance governing the Gibraltar Strait. Spain may pay compensation for missing infrastructure on Isla de Perejil.

  4. UK BEXIT options ;
    Option A
    No freedom of movement for EU citizens, No trade deal with the EU , no payment of funds to the EU (Hard Brexit)
    Option B
    Freedom of movement of EU citizens, trade deal with EU and payment of compensation to EU
    (Soft Brexit)
    Option C
    No freedom of movement, a very limited trade deal with EU with generally unfavorable terms for the UK and payment of compensation to the EU.

    So what is is going to be ? People in the UK still don´t understand that any of these possible options will be very very bad for the UK

    So lets move on to Gibraltar ;

    Options A
    Joint Sovereignty with Spain for a period of 100years after which Gibraltar becomes Spanish. Inclusion of Gibraltar in the Spanish Constitution to safe guard the unique status of Gibraltar as an autonomous region of Spain with the highest level of self Government possible.
    This option would allow for Gibraltar to remain in the EU and also the possibility of dual nationality for its citizens.
    Option B
    No joint sovereignty. Negotiate a trade deal with the EU which would have to have the specific approval of Spain. Basic points for a trade deal to be possible :
    1) Taxation of fossil fuels to be within 5% of taxation applied in Spain
    2) Taxation on tabacco to be with 5% of taxation applied in Spain
    3) Taxation on Alcohol to be with in 5% of taxation applied in Spain
    4) Agreement for taxation on gaming to be applied at point of consumption for the entire EU.
    5) Tax information exchange agreement between the UK and Spain for Gibraltar (There is a tax agreement between the UK and Spain in place but it doesn´t include Gibraltar)
    Spain will be open to a trade deal that does not include the issue of Sovereignty but any trade deal will have to clearly benefit all members of the European Union and in particular Spain, hence the veto power Spain has on any trade deal affecting Gibraltar.
    Option C
    No trade deal. No concessions for workers crossing the border in either direction. The fence will become a real border point of entry into the EU. If this also includes hard Brexit, it is very likely that all British Citizens will require visas to enter the EU, this would include British Passport holders in Gibraltar.

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