GIBRALTAR’S second in command has fired a warning shot at the Spanish right wing on the eve of new elections.
Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia said that tightening frontier controls would hurt the Spanish as much as the Rock.
“At the moment, Vox is the only political party in Spain whose policy it is to close the border completely,” said Garcia.
“They hold the balance of power in the Andalucian parliament and could get more than the 24 seats it won at the last national elections.
“But we are not scared of anything. We have been here more than 300 years as a people and withstood the combined military might of France and Spain.
“Whatever they may throw at us, that will make no difference for us to be what we want to be.”
With a no-deal Brexit possible just ten days before the Spanish general election, these are the two existential threats to modern Gibraltar.
He continued: “It is not in Spain’s interests to have a disruptive border because Gibraltar generates 20% of the GDP of the neighbouring region (the Campo).
“We buy €1.5 billion of goods a year from Spain and we are the second biggest employér for the whole of Andalusia.
“It would be like cutting off their nose to spite their faces.”
The Gibraltar frontier has not received as much attention as the Northern Ireland one, but the issue here is different, added Garcia.
“The issue in Ireland is about having controls and checkpoints,” he said. “We have those already so our concern is how those controls might be exercised when we are no longer in the European Union.
“We are working very hard to make sure that we mitigate against all these issues.”