The future of Gibraltar was on the agenda when Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid last month. Media reports in Spain say the EU has given clear indications that it will back Spain in any future sovereignty disputes with the UK over the Rock.
One theory is that the withdrawal agreement will include a special protocol related to Gibraltar which could end its status as an offshore tax haven.
Shortly before Barnier’s visit, Spain’s Foreign Affairs minister Josep Borrell said that, although Spain was not presently pursuing its sovereignty claims over Gibraltar, this should not be interpreted as a “resignation” of its historical stance to regain control. He has also vowed to use the Brexit negotiations to obtain “the most positive things possible” for the Spanish residents of Campo de Gibraltar.
Meanwhile, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Mr Picardo has refuted “untrue” and “misleading” reports in El Pais that the future of the Rock would be the subject of bilateral talks between London and Madrid after Britain quits the EU next March.