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Picardo in fresh warning over EU vote

Spain could seek to block Gibraltar’s access to the single European market if the UK votes to leave the European Union, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said.

Mr Picardo told The Associated Press that Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo had warned that if Britain exits the EU, the Partido Popular would "require that we accept joint sovereignty with Spain to have access to the market".

Mr Picardo said Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who visited the Rock last month, had acknowledged the European mechanisms in place to keep the frontier between Spain and Gibraltar flowing "will not be available to us if we are not members of the EU".

Gibraltarians were overwhelmingly "on the 'remain' side" in the EU debate.

"It's important to send a message to those in the UK who think that there would be no adverse consequences for Gibraltar in the event that the UK were to leave the EU, that Garcia-Margallo made his point very clearly," Mr Picardo said.

Gibraltar would find its trade adversely affected if Spain took such action but "we will never pay any sovereignty price either for access to the single market or for any other reason", he added.

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