Alfonso Dastis

SPAIN has called for joint management of Gibraltar airport in the ongoing Brexit negotiations. 

Foreign minister Alfonso Dastsis also said his country wants greater cooperation on tax and tobacco smuggling.

The new claims threaten to spark more uproar among Tory backbenchers in the UK who are furious that the British government has not stood up enough to Spain over the Rock.

Dastis wants an agreement by next month’s crucial EU summit where Britain hopes to secure a Brexit transition deal.

It comes after Brussels gave Spain a formal veto over the provisions of any EU-UK Brexit deal that applies to Gibraltar.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Dastis said he wanted a deal that was as close as possible to the status quo with Britain.

But on Gibraltar he said Spain wants a deal that will see them ‘manage the airport together’.

He insisted Spain ‘has a claim’ to the land, claiming it was illegally occupied by the UK.

He added: “We need some more co-operation with the Gibraltar or the UK tax authorities but the situation has already improved.

“The Gibraltarians seem willing to co-operate, we need to see that in practice.”