SPAIN is once again looking to force a wedge between Gibraltar and the UK Government by suggesting that The Rock is heading for an abrupt exit from the single market without the benefit of any form of transition deal.
Spanish Government sources are reported to be saying that the British Government has failed to offer any proposals on the future of the Rock and that in their opinion Gibraltar is not a priority for Downing Street.
The Spanish Government source is reported to have suggested that Theresa May’s government appeared to have bigger issues to deal with than the fate of the people who live on The Rock.
The unnamed source said: “I think the situation with Gibraltar is crystal clear. Gibraltar became associated with the EU project because of their dependence in the UK. This is going to stay until March 2019. In 2019 when the UK leaves the EU, Gibraltar will leave with the UK.”
The source added: “This is what we are telling the Gibraltarians. If you want to have your existing status, you will have to talk with us. And I cannot understand why Fabian Picardo has refused to do so. I think in the past he has played very hard on the other side. But reality arrives.”
Pressed on Britain’s lack of any firm proposals regarding the post Brexit future of Gibraltar,
the source said: “I honestly believe they have other more important issues.”
The Spanish Government is also keen to pour cold water on David Davis’s upbeat assessment on potential trade deals with Spain accusing Britain of misinterpreting Madrid’s position.
“It is amazing how the British misread us it is almost as if we speak a different language. They come to us, we say: ‘We will see what we can do.’ But it means nothing.
“The Foreign Office is very good – at least, they used to be very good – but they come to see us on any other issues and they would understand we are favouring their position when it wasn’t the case. I get the impression that when the British and Mr Davis come to see us and we say: ‘I will see what I can do,’ he makes a positive interpretation.
“We are sticking behind the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. We want a deal. We think you took a decision, you stick to your decision and you should leave in 2019. And we want a fair deal. That’s all. But we will stick to Barnier. We will not find other ways out of it.”