THE epic battle for Gibraltar is raging on between Spain and the UK as MPs vote tonight in Parliament on amendments to the Brexit deal.
Spain has insisted, once again, on excluding Gibraltar from all of its post-Brexit agreements with the UK and the EU, Spanish diplomatic sources have revealed to Reuters today.
In a shock move, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is set to bid for shared sovereignty over the Rock after the UK leaves the EU.
“In every agreement reached with Great Britain there will be an asterisk which explains that the deal will not affect Gibraltar,” the source told Reuters.
Gibraltar, which has been a British territory since 1713, is set to leave the EU alongside the UK.
But Spain is not giving up without a fight – one that Sanchez backs up with the fact that 97% of Gibraltarians voted to remain in the EU during the 2016 referendum.
“After Brexit, Spain wants to include in writing in every document signed with the EU, that it has nothing to do with Gibraltar, which should be based on a different relationship,” said the source. “This strategy will be followed in all agreements that will be signed.”
It comes after a fiery dispute between Sanchez and May over the Rock threatened to delay Brexit negotiations in November, but an 11th hour deal made sure the 27 EU states agreed on the divorce bill.
UK MPs are currently voting in Parliament to change the direction of Brexit after Theresa May’s deal was overwhelmingly voted against in the biggest Government defeat in history, earlier this month.
May is hoping to re-open negotiations with Brussels with an ‘empathic message’ of what MPs want, following the vote.