Mark Viales

Spain has begun to reveal the ace hidden under its sleeve that aims to use the European Union to advance its anachronistic sovereignty claim over Gibraltar. It comes as its new Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, on Tuesday praised the European Union’s draft mandate on Gibraltar that was firmly rejected by Gibraltar and the UK. Madrid has also put pressure on the EU to finalise the one-sided treaty with minimal changes, despite the major discrepancies from what was agreed to last December between Gibraltar, the UK and Spain. 

“I have expressed to my colleague my desire that the presidency pushes for the approval of the negotiating mandate for an agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom on Gibraltar so that it is adopted as soon as possible,” Albares told his Slovenian counterpart in a meeting on Monday.”For us, for Spain, this is evidently a priority issue.”
In line with the PSOE’s more centrist policies, Albares was drafted predominantly to protect ‘Spain’s interests’ in smoothing relations with Morocco and strike a favourable deal over Gibraltar.
“The final agreement must have Spain’s prior approval and I can assure you that our country will only accept an agreement that adequately protects our interests and our position on sovereignty,” He told Spanish Parliament this week regarding the initial text of the EU mandate in response to Spanish centre-right party Partido Popular questions. “It is very positive regarding Spain’s interests in Gibraltar. We will follow negotiations very closely.”