Spain’s change of tone is welcomed if ‘genuine’, says Neill
The Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Gibraltar Group, Tory MP Bob Neill, has welcomed the change of tone and approach by Spain that it will not block a post-Brexit agreement between the UK and European Union in order to push its sovereignty claim on Gibraltar.
Mr Neill said that if this was a genuine shift in the Spanish position “we welcome it”.
A Tory backbencher, Mr Neill said: “We in the UK want to have a good relationship with Spain after we leave the EU” and emphasised that the people of Gibraltar wanted “a good relationship with Spain too”.
Spain's Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said in an interview in the ABC newspaper on Sunday that his country would not "jeopardise" any future deal by making demands to alter the Rock’s status.
"We will try to convince the Gibraltarians that (joint sovereignty) is a route worth exploring and that it would benefit them too,” he told the newspaper.
"What I don't want to do is jeopardise an EU-UK agreement by subjecting it to a need to alter Gibraltar's status at the same time.”
Gibraltar's initial inclusion in European Council president Donald Tusk's draft negotiation guidelines caused fury - which accused the EU of bullying - while former Conservative Party leader Lord Howard even suggested Mrs May could go to war to defend the Rock.