European Union angers United Kingdom by calling Gibraltar a 'colony of the British Crown'

European Union angers United Kingdom by calling Gibraltar a 'colony of the British Crown'

As part of the preparations for a no-deal Brexit, EU ambassadors agreed to a document on Friday that would allow British citizens to travel to other countries in the EU without a visa for short stays.

"There is a controversy between Spain and Britain concerning the sovereignty over Gibraltar, a territory for which a solution has to be reached in light of the relevant resolutions and decision of the General Assembly of the United Nations", the footnote stated.

British lawmakers on Tuesday instructed Prime Minister Theresa May to reopen her Brexit treaty with the European Union to replace the backstop - an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland - but promptly received a rejection from both Dublin and Brussels.

Gibraltarians rejected by 99% to 1% the idea of the United Kingdom sharing sovereignty with Spain in a vote in 2002 and in a previous referendum in 1967.

British Prime Minister Theresa May considers the move "unacceptable", a spokesperson for the British leader told EL PAÍS.

Gibraltar was defined as a "crown colony" when Britain joined the European bloc in 1973 but London reclassified it as a "British overseas territory" in 2002.

"A government spokeswoman, meanwhile, said Gibraltar is not a colony and it is completely inappropriate to describe in this way".

Britain had not raised specific objections to the wording in those cases, officials said, but was irritated by Spain's push to push the phrase and the sovereignty dispute into legislation in the present circumstances.

The IoD declared itself neutral ahead of Britain's referendum on its European Union membership in 2016 but it has warned since then of the potential costs of leaving the bloc.

Proposals to give British citizens short-stay, visa-free access to the European Union after Brexit are a step closer to being agreed.

Business secretary Greg Clark has warned that a no-deal Brexit would be a "mistake that we would regret for ever".

Spain has already secured a right of veto over whether future Brexit arrangements can apply to Gibraltar.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said the country intends to revive its bid for shared sovereignty over "The Rock".

The EU withdrawal agreement agreed with the United Kingdom, proposes a special protocol creating several working groups between Madrid and London to discuss the future of Gibraltar.

Related Articles