Secretary general of the People’s Party (PP), Teodoro García Egea, today revealed plans to drain the Rock of its Britishness in the biggest sign yet that the Spanish are forcing Britons out. He said simply at a meeting of the party that the ultimate goal of the PP is “to move towards the Spanishness of the Rock”. Mr Egea said that Brexit has to be an “opportunity” for Spain, especially given the “inconveniences” that it can create to the Spanish international market and exports, especially agricultural products. He then went on to stress the importance of “normalising” the relationships on this issue and avoiding differences and “moving towards a Spanish Gibraltar”.
In a separate warning, he scoffed at the thought of a coalition ruling over the Rock with the Gibraltar government, adding his party seeks a sole Spanish government that he said will be achieved maintaining the “principles” and “values” of the party.
He added he only wants a “a PP government, with PP ministers”.
The British territory has been a bone of contention for Spain for years.
The member state, of which the Rock has been a small part of since 1704, celebrated just yesterday after efforts to reclaim Gibraltar saw it being branded a “colony of the British Crown” in key no deal Brexit plans.
Madrid risked blocking Britons from being offered visa-free travel in Europe in yet another power grab for the Rock.
EU leaders have been infuriated by Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez’ effort to snatch back the British overseas territory, which Madrid has disputed ownership of since 1713.
But this didn’t stop an effort to disrupt Brussels’ plans to offer Britons a visa waiver in the event of no deal.
The legislation, which contained the controversial footnote referring to Gibraltar as a “colony of the British Crown”, had already been approved by the European Council and Commission and was being held up only by Mr Moraes’ efforts in the Parliament.
Celebrating their success, a Spanish government spokesman said: “This is the first time the European Parliament and the member states have recognised that Gibraltar is a colony.
“It’s a great step forward for the position and claims made by Spain.”
Gibraltar was considered a “crown colony” when Britain joined the European bloc in 1973, but was reclassified by London as a “British overseas territory” in 2002.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.