Carmen Gomez
How tragic for us and the UK

Dare I say that in Brussels, despite the front set up by Junker and Tusk, the member states are huddling round the queen bee in her hive, more out of fear of the unknown than simple camaraderie. 

True that strength lies in unity, but we all recognise the EU`s undercurrents and are aware that like a patchwork quilt, the edges are already fraying. What they portray as a climate of hostility towards us, is veiled in fear; fear of what others may perceive as stupidity, or even reckless obstinacy.

It’s curious how when we talk about the strong bonds that supposedly exist between Spain and the UK; as I have said on countless occasions, there has not been the slightest sign shown of understanding re the UK`s Brexit decision. Only derogatory words have been heard; and phrases such as “they have shot themselves in the foot!”


On the other hand, the country next door to them, has not only demonstrated great empathy with the UK; as the British vice Consulate in Portugal said recently; “The Portuguese Government has been extremely constructive and supportive in its efforts to reach a good agreement over Brexit.”

They too are a country that has a warm and historical relationship with the UK, but unlike Spain, they have chosen to demonstrate it by not using threats or placing obstacles in the way of negotiations. Instead, although Portuguese officials regret the UK decision, they nevertheless understand that the UK Government, have made a decision for the country; “a democratic decision;” something that Spanish officials will never understand, for all their talk of being a leader in democratic ways.

The British representative said he felt fortunate to be in Portugal, adding that it was relatively easy to deal with Brexit in the Portuguese context, and this was reflected in the kind of conversations that they had had between their Governments. How tragic for us and the UK, that the Spanish are not more like the Portuguese!

On might be forgiven for having thought that Lord Howard had surpassed himself not so long ago, by insinuating that Britain was prepared to go to war in order to protect Gibraltar; although secretly, many of us welcomed his bravado and show of solidarity.

For sure, he put the wind up the sails of Sr. Dastis when he was Spain’s Foreign Affairs Minister; if you recall he was most put out and asked everyone for calm.


But it was effective in the sense that, when alls said and done, what Spain respects is a show of strength; not appeasement policies! If you show them your teeth, they will back down. This is the way you have to face this particular non friendly nation; not with a ploy of humiliation, as was the recent intention of the British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson, but with an ultimatum! And not the sort that Philip Hammond has insinuated in the past with matters relating to us and Spain, which have never cemented.

I am still reeling over what transpired in the press when we learnt that, not over drinks with colleagues at the bar in the Houses of Parliament, but at a defence meeting, the Minister for Defence addressed his senior military figures with a cockamamie idea about how to solve the water incursions issue. I say that what they tried to pass on as a joke was in very poor taste. Addressing a matter of such great importance to Gibraltarians as its BGTW`S, should never have been approached in such a flippant manner. This is an affront to our sensibilities. It shows little understanding in what is a matter of sovereignty for us and it is patronising to the extreme! How many times have I highlighted the fact that the British politician knows nothing about the Spanish mentality!

The Spaniards are still smarting from the defeat of their Armada by England, plus giving up Gibraltar; because they live in the past; and Mr Williamson thinks it would be a good idea to humiliate them further, and in this way they would realize who’s boss and thus give up their incursions in waters they claim as theirs!

I mean, when is this going to end? When is someone going to explain to the British politician that pride is the Spaniard’s reason for being and that you do not try to humiliate them, because all this achieves is an overdose of their bad milk directed at us! They say that the Defence Minister believes in the might of England and has in the past warned so called enemies, not to mess with Britain. Bring it on Sir; but I repeat in the form of an ultimatum, not childish pranks!


Spain, for heaven's sake, believes that with the UK out of the way, they move up a rung on a ladder; where they believe they stand behind the UK as the fourth economy in the world; and the people believe this because they said it on Spanish TV.

What was not said was that it is now the 11th most indebted country in the world, according to a recent report; and that the Spanish Bank has written off 42 billion Euros since the financial crisis of 2007/8.

On home turf, some may have wished to forget that the political Editor of the Sunday Times was hugely impressed with the work of our Chief Minister in these difficult times; calling him a tough cookie and real operator. Adding that no one before had seen that sort of operation.


In fact when speaking of both Dr. Joseph Garcia and the Chief Minister he said that what was clear, was that they had stood their ground and fought Gibraltar’s corner hard. “Picardo and Garcia have evolved the Gibraltar operation abroad into a real lobbying and persuading operation.”

Let us not join the silly season participants by losing fact of this; our load is heavy enough with the Spanish dirty tricks!