Spain has not changed one iota in its stance towards Gibraltar, says GSD leader

The events of the last few days have demonstrated that we must remain vigilant in all negotiations affecting Gibraltar, that Spain has not changed one iota its stance towards us and that UK assurances while strong on sovereignty also reveal that their national interest and objectives are different to ours, said GSD leader Keith Azopardi in a statement last night. 

"This last weekend we have seen the undignified spectacle of Spain attempting to hold hostage all other EU States over Gibraltar. It was not that long ago when we were being told that everything had been agreed with Spain and that they would not be blocking the deal over Gibraltar. How things change," he said.

The GSD adds that its position on the withdrawal agreement is well known, and they do have their immediate and initial misgivings.

He said: "We do note however that Mr Picardo is fast becoming the sole “UK family” cheerleader of Mrs May and the deal.

"If what we were being told is that this deal is better than crashing out with no deal that is one thing. But to be told that this deal is a great deal for Gibraltar is a massive stretch of the imagination. For now as I say and pending our full evaluation we simply do not subscribe to that euphoria."

Mr Azopardi says they stand with the Government on the fundamentals of protecting our Gibraltar from any Spanish threats.

"We have no idea whether Mrs May will get her deal through the UK Parliament. Even if she does there will then be a long road ahead fraught with difficulty so as to negotiate a future relationship with the EU. On that road we must be imaginative and bold in pursuing our goals. They are different to those of the UK as represented by Mrs May but we must not be scared of disagreeing with the UK like we weren't scared of disagreeing with Tony Blair and Jack Straw in 2002. Our future depends on it. If we get to that stage a future Gibraltar Government should not simply hang on to the UK’s negotiating stance because it is different to what we want. We will need to clearly articulate a different set of objectives for a uniquely drawn arrangement with the EU that respects our wishes," he said.