NO to joint sovereignty - says British Ambassador in Spain

Joe Garcia

The British Ambassador to Madrid, Simon Manley, will soon end his term of office in Spain, but not without having rejected in public the concept of joint sovereignty. 

He has been in Spain since 2013, that is six years, and will pack his bags towards the end of the coming long hot summer.

My information is that the Ambassador and his team have been Rock-solid, when defending Gibraltar including during the arduous negotiations over Brexit.

In Madrid this week he was told if joint sovereignty was the answer to the never-ending squabble over the Rock, and he said without hesitation: No.

He went on to refer to the right of the Gibraltarians to decide their future- and made it clear that talks and negotiations with Spain have been about finding solutions to practical problems - and three governments have been taking part and reaching agreements, the UK, Spanish and Gibraltar government.

In a radio interview in Madrid, he was reminded that the Spanish government accused Gibraltar of financial evasion etc, what did the Ambassador think?

He said he did not agree with the Spanish government, but having struck an agreement such as over tax, was an opportunity to demonstrate that the Spanish allegations were not so.

About Brexit, he said that the UK went for it in a legal referendum and that it was important to respect the views of the people, it being fundamental in democracies.