Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s head, issued a stark warning against Spain, rejecting as “nonsense” the possibility of holding talks of power-sharing. In a televised New Year’s address to his fellow Gibraltarians, Mr Picardo said Gibraltar is approaching talks with Brussels regarding its future relationship with the EU together with “the UK family” and dismissed the idea of Madrid sharing with Britain Gibraltar’s sovereignty. He said: “I want to be crystal clear again on one thing, no one should interpret our massive vote in favour of remaining in the EU as suggesting that we will be prepared to somehow compromise on sovereignty.
“If anyone in Spain, in any part of the political spectrum, believes that we will ever compromise on our sovereignty they are wrong.
“Any dilution of our sovereignty is a dead duck.
“It is as dead as a dodo.
“If anyone seriously think they can advance the concept of joint sovereignty they are flogging a dead horse.
“They should not waste breath talking such nonsense.
“They should not waste ink writing such nonsense.
“Neither through threat nor inducement, we will never weaver.
“Brexit changes nothing in this respect.”
This attack to Madrid comes after Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced in November he would seek a discussion over the possibility of having a joint sovereignty of Gibraltar after Brexit.
Gibraltar, a British territory since 1713, joined the European Union with the rest of the United Kingdom’s territories in 1973.
While it didn’t take part in the UK European Communities membership referendum in 1975, it overwhelmingly voted in favour of remaining part of the bloc in June 2016, with a staggering 84 percent of Gibraltarians voting Remain.
Despite not supporting Brexit, Mr Picardo said, Gibraltar doesn’t seek to move away from London but, in fact, has been working closely with Whitehall in the past two years to reach an agreement with the EU and shape the UK’s future relationship with the bloc.
He said: “We must start the negotiation, as part of the UK family, on our future relationship with the EU.
“The political and geographic reality is that this will in effect recast our relationship with Spain, our immediate EU neighbour.
“As usual, we will approach these negotiations in good faith but with a healthy dose of scepticism.
“And we will always be vigilant to ensure that there is no encroachment whatsoever on our sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over Gibraltar in any such negotiation.
“That is how we successfully negotiated our participation in the Withdrawal Agreement and it is how we will deal in the negotiations in the respect of the future arrangements with the EU.”