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Picardo gives robust response to Margallo: Brexit has nothing to do with the sovereignty of Gibraltar

“Neither in four years or in 4,000 or any other longer time, the Spanish flag will never fly over Gibraltar. It's "No way, Jose", so get used to it.”

This was the direct and clear message from Chief Minister Fabian Picardo to the Caretaker Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo who on Wednesday night vowed to "plant his flag on Gibraltar”. Snr Margallo’s comments were made on Spanish state television in reply to the Chief Minister’s comment before the United Nations this week when he stated “No,way Jose”, to Spain’s proposal of joint sovereignty and said Sr Garcia-Margallo would never get his hands on the Rock.

“My hands no, but I will plant my flag much sooner than Mr Picardo believes,” said SnrMargallo adding that the world had changed with Brexit and the current solution disappears “ so we have to seek another one.”

The Caretaker Spanish Foreign Minister also insisted, on the programme ’24 horas’ that once negotiations over the terms of Brexit were under way in March the simple choice for the Gibraltarians  was to either be British outside the European Union or “Hispano-Britons inside the Union”.

At No.6 Convent Place, yesterday afternoon, the Chief Minister was robust in his response. Brexit he said adamantly changed nothing, “Gibraltar will never be Spanish”.

The Government, he said, considered that it was deeply regrettable that SnrMargallo continued to embark on a policy of threats, open hostility and confrontation against Gibraltar as opposed to one of dialogue and cooperation.

“The reality is that the decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has absolutely nothing to do with the sovereignty of Gibraltar. Mr Margallo continues to link the two in a bare-faced attempt to take advantage of “Brexit” in order to advance Spain’s outdated and invalid claim.”!

The principles of the eighteenth century, said Mr Picardo, could not be applied to a situation that exists in the twenty-first century.

“In this day and age the very concept that a people, however small, can be handed over from one monarch to another against their wishes is something that should be anathema to anyone who calls himself a democrat. The right of self-determination, where people decide their own future freely and democratically, is the way forward for Gibraltar and Mr Margallo has to learn to accept that. Moreover, history has shown that the people of Gibraltar will not respond to threats.”

He told SnrMargallo that the people of Gibraltar had seen off a long line of Spanish Foreign Ministers who had all engaged in a quest to recover Spanish Sovereignty over Gibraltar.