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No 6 dismisses Margallo’s joint sovereignty comments, again

Spain’s acting Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, yesterday repeated his view that Brexit  represented “a historic and unique” opportunity for Spain to regain sovereignty over Gibraltar.

In comments that were swiftly rebutted by the Gibraltar Government, Sr García-Margallo again set out his vision for joint sovereignty over the Rock.

“It’s unique in 300 years, a historic opportunity to recover Gibraltar,” he said during a breakfast interview on Antena 3.

“The formula is joint sovereignty with the UK, a personal status that will allow Gibraltarians to have dual nationality, a status of autonomy that will allow them to retain practically the entirety of the regime of self-government they now have.”

A spokesman for No 6 Convent Place dismissed the Spanish minister’s comments and said the position on joint sovereignty remained as set out by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo on National Day.

”British means British, never means never, Gibraltar will be British forever,” the spokesman said, echoing Mr Picardo’s National Day message. 

The exchange on Gibraltar between the Spanish journalist and Sr García-Margallo was brief and came at the of a lengthy interview dominated by domestic politics and recent corruption scandals affected both the PP and PSOE.

The Spanish minister was asked by interviewer Susanna Griso as to whether there had been any contact with authorities in Gibraltar.

Jokingly, Sr García-Margallo replied that he would not be drawn on that question.

Pressed again, he laughed and added: “Which part of no don’t you understand?”

A spokesman for No 6 Convent Place said there had been “no contact whatsoever” between the Government of Gibraltar and the acting Spanish government.