As May triggers Article 50, Dastis promises ‘no punitive measures’ at border
Spain’s Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, has told a leading German newspaper that Madrid will not be taking “any type of punitive measures” at the border with Gibraltar after Brexit.
Sr Dastis has made similar statements in recent days to Spanish media, but his comments to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung are the first time he has spoken about the border to the international media.
They were published yesterday, a day before Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Britain's withdrawal from the European Union under Article 50 of the EU treaty, setting in motion a two-year process after which the UK – and by extension Gibraltar – will be outside the bloc.
The Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the Cabinet this morning as the letter formally invoking the Article 50 withdrawal process is dispatched to Brussels.
Signed personally by Mrs May - a so-called "wet signature" in Civil Service jargon - the letter will be delivered to European Council president Donald Tusk by the British ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Farrow, at around 12.30pm UK time.
At roughly the same time, the Prime Minister will rise in the House of Commons to make a statement to MPs confirming the two-year countdown to Britain's departure from the EU is finally under way.
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