BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May has once again been found wanting in voicing her support for Gibraltar.
Mrs May has previously stated that Gibraltar’s status is not up for discussion during Brexit negotiations but seems to have been shy to discuss the matter in her meeting with King Felipe VI.
A statement from Downing Street simply said that May did not raise the matter while continuing to insist that Spain was aware of Britain’s position regarding The Rock.
This is despite the fact that the King of Spain stated in his address to Parliamentarians that the “two governments” of his country and Britain will find a solution on the Rock’s future that is “acceptable to all involved,” completely ignoring the Gibraltar Government’s status.
The King’s wide ranging speech drew rapturous applause and despite threats to walk out by some MPs if he raised the question of Gibraltar that did not happen perhaps as the reference was subdued and that many present may not have recognised the significance of his comments.
It is interesting to note that the Queen did not share Theresa May’s reticence to acknowledge the issue saying that Spain did not always see “eye to eye” when speaking at the King’s state banquet.
King Felipe’s remarks, that failed to acknowledge Gibraltar’s democratically-elected Government, brought an angry response from Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who accused King Felipe of “seeking to ignore” the wishes of the people who live on The Rock.
Mr Picardo cautioned that the issue of sovereignty is “not up for discussion or negotiation”. Commenting on the King’s failure to recognise his Government position said this, “really harks back to a time when the governments in Madrid and London might make decisions over the heads of the people of Gibraltar.”
The Chief Minister said that Gibraltar should have the “most important voice” in talks about its future.