One of the reasons why we may indeed gain a no deal Brexit – or not, dependent upon which way around the supplication goes – is the Spanish attitude towards Gibraltar. They’re insistent that it’s a colony, that it shouldn’t be, and that the 30,000 people who don’t want to be part of Spain should be. Indeed, will be.
At which point we need to turn our minds to how to enrage a Spaniard. Simply remind that Gibraltar is exactly a colony in the same way that Ceuta and Melilla are. Little enclaves of one people and political system perched on the edge of another. For entirely historic reasons. And we’ll give up our at about the same time they do their. Or, in the way these things work these days, the people of Gibraltar get to decide their future just as those of Ceuta and Melilla do their.
This having reference to the EU Parliament:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] A British MEP who challenged Spain’s description of Gibraltar as a colony has accused his opponents of “dirty tricks” after he was stripped of a key position in the European parliament. Claude Moraes was forced out of the role of rapporteur for EU no-deal visa-free travel legislation, a position in which his job is to represent MEPs’ views, after he refused to accept the contentious description of the British overseas territory in a draft law. [/perfectpullquote] [perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] The two largest groups in the European parliament – the centre-right European People’s Party and the Socialists & Democrats – forced through his removal at a hearing on Monday on the grounds of a conflict of interest. Spain, with whom Britain has clashed over the sovereignty of Gibraltar for three centuries, had argued for the description of Gibraltar as a “colony of the British crown” in legislation, with the backing of the other 26 member states. The draft law was first put to a vote by MEPs six weeks ago. [/perfectpullquote] [perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The draft law was held up owing to Moraes’s refusal to give ground on the issue. He said he had no mandate to accept what he said was an erroneous description. Gibraltar voted to remain British sovereign territory in a referendum in 2002.[/perfectpullquote]
The long game being played here is that once that description of Gib as a colony makes it into one or another official EU document then it will spread to more and more such. Until it’s just the standard description in the EU and so Spain can then nick it.
The correct response to which is simply to insist upon all such documents reading “Gibraltar, Ceuta and Melilla”. Or, if we wish to enrage the French – and which Englishman doesn’t want to do that – “Gibraltar, Ceuta, Melilla, French Guyana, New Caledonia, St Pierre et Miquelon, Martinique and Guadeloupe.”
Sadly, we can’t get the Germans in the same way as the rest of us nicked all their colonies in 1918. But the Danish might be worth a go, Greenland. The Dutch perhaps with St Maarten and Saba etc. Just insist upon the goose and gander comparison and watch heads explode.
For if we play that card right they’ll throw us out which would solve matters nicely, wouldn’t it?