The British Government must address our concerns

Carmen Gomez

Ours is a story that is lasting far too long. To take a Shakespearian phrase from Hamlet; it has become “weary, stale, flat and unprofitable. I’m referring to of course, that which is entwined with Spain’s absurd and outdated demands for sovereignty. The harsh reality is that if we don’t this time around, capture the UK Government’s complete attention, I feel we are going to reach a point where we never will. 

Like that old song of Elvis Presley`s “it’s now or never.” I’m not just the one saying that; Sr. Margallo said it the minute Brexit reared its ugly head. This was and is to be their last chance for a grab! So it is my humble opinion that something very concrete and very binding has to be achieved between our governments; such as will put both a defining and finite stop to Spain’s stratagems.

This must happen before we wake up one morning and find ourselves cheated by the political machinations of some EU legislature of their making, which, without the UK`s presence there to support us, will not just be damaging, but might seriously threaten our territorial integrity. Dr Joseph Garcia said in July this year in his 21st budget address, that once the UK left the EU, Spain would not only strive to be at the top table, but bend European policy towards its interests; and we know we are very close to their heart in as far as their interests are concerned,

How the Spanish think

Everyone and its neighbour purports to know how the Spanish think. So many books have been written about them particularly by English authors; but at the end of the day they are no closer to understanding them as we do. Spain is more confident than ever, and now doesn’t care if the UK leaves and indeed welcomes a no deal! (their words) This, after Mr. William Chislett, former correspondent of The Times London in Madrid, who knows them well and has written umpteen books on them, penned a very, very long article in 2017, to ultimately say that Spain has good reasons for wanting the best possible relationship with Britain, as the Spain-UK relationship was hugely significant in terms of trade; direct investment; tourism; fisheries etc.

So as a result of the magnitude of the Spain- UK relationship, Madrid in particular, had good reason for wanting am amicable Brexit deal and closest possible post Brexit relations with London. Now how does all this tally with their latest statement? The truth is Sir that they don’t care! None of this matters to them. They are Spanish and the world will kneel at their feet to pay homage, and the EU will ignore their debts, and so on and so forth. They are a law unto themselves and the next UK Prime Minister had better realize this and put our houses in order pronto!

Their needs

With politics in Spain at present, it’s not a question of how the different parties can come to agreements to serve the people and do the best for Spain, but what alliances can be forged to best suit their needs. All the time assuming that what matters to the voters is not that they should be seen to be responsive to public opinion, but that they should not lose face in the eyes of the electorate. The Government says to the left Podemos, that they are welcome to give them the necessary votes they need to govern; but they can forget any aspirations for any appointments of cabinet posts among them. How can any self respecting party that has been chosen by a great majority of the people, accept that? A similar treatment of disdain for the ultra right party Vox is meted out by the PP party. They won’t even be seen in a photograph with them; but they have eagerly seized their votes!

This is an interesting lesson, ladies and gentlemen, in the art of deception, which exposes a nation of users. I am happy to say that many locally, who had not spoken up before, are now saying that Spain can’t be trusted.

The facts speak for themselves, as quite aptly described by Dennis Mathews, who during his speech at the UN decolonisation committee said that Spain “appears to be extending an olive branch, when in fact it is offering a poisoned apple.” For working parties here liaising with Spanish unions on important matters of frontier flow etc. to look to Spain in the hope that their members will; some with their so called contacts in Madrid; be able to have their voices heard and their concerns taken into consideration, is a tall order.

Possible restrictions

The Government of Andalucía where most of the workers live has already from way back been voicing its concerns over possible restrictions on crossing the border. I am not implying this is not possible; but what will undoubtedly happen is that solutions for them will be found; but that will not necessarily mean they will be the same for us. Should they decide, say, to give a green light to their workers coming in to Gibraltar to work, what will stop them from creating havoc after that, with long queues which will affect our tourism product and cripple our economic trade.

And if this were to happen, do these working parties expect that the Spanish unions in return will say to their contacts in Madrid. “hang on a minute señores, what about Gibraltar?” I tend to think not. The general consensus has been for years, that they only count on us, or look to us when they have troubles of their own. This is not a nation of politicians with any kind of strong moral fibre. The United Kingdom is, and that is why the British Government must address our concerns with seriousness of purpose and soon.