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Theresa May Confirms UK's Position On Gibraltar's Sovereignty Has Not Changed

By Isabel Togoh

The UK’s position on the sovereignty of Gibraltar had not changed, Theresa May has said, as she added she would always “stand by” its citizens ahead of the Brexit summit on Sunday.

Speaking in Brussels, the Prime Minister said: “We have worked through the withdrawal issues for Gibraltar with Spain in a constructive and sensible way and I would like to pay tribute to the statesmanship with which Fabian Picardo has led the negotiations on behalf of Gibraltar.

“We have ensured that Gibraltar is covered by the whole Withdrawal Agreement and by the implementation period and we will always negotiate on behalf of the whole UK family, including Gibraltar, and in the future relationship we will stand up for their interests.

She added: “I am proud that Gibraltar is British and I will always stand by Gibraltar.”

As a motto for tomorrow, the words of Freddie Mercury, who passed away exactly 27 years ago: “Friends will be friends, right till the end”.

— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) November 24, 2018

European Union leaders are set to give their seal of approval to Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Sunday. The summit will go ahead after Spain claimed the UK and European Union had agreed to its demands for guarantees over the status of Gibraltar.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had threatened to block the summit over the issue but later said “Europe and the United Kingdom have accepted our demands”.

Madrid’s foreign minister Josep Borrell went further, saying the agreement is “highly positive for Spain” and “the most important” since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 under which Gibraltar was ceded to the UK.

The diplomatic spat which threatened to derail the Brexit process was resolved after a clarification about the position and emergency talks between Sanchez, European council chief Donald Tusk and EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

A letter from the UK’s ambassador to the EU Sir Tim Barrow confirmed the Withdrawal Agreement imposes no obligations regarding the “territorial scope” of future agreements – Spain wants to make sure it has a say over how any UK-EU trade applies to the Rock.

But the UK has also made clear it will negotiate future agreements on behalf of all territories whose external relations it is responsible for – including Gibraltar.

Following the resolution of the row, Tusk sent out formal invitation letters to EU leaders for the summit, saying the Brexit deal reached by negotiators from the UK and Brussels “found the best possible compromise”.

He said: “I will recommend that we approve on Sunday the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

“No-one has reasons to be happy. But at least at this critical time, the EU27 has passed the test of unity and solidarity.”

On Twitter, Tusk drew musical inspiration from Queen as he insisted the UK and European Union would remain friends.

The European Council president tweeted “friends will be friends, right till the end”, ahead of Sunday’s summit of EU leaders which is expected to approve the Brexit deal.

On the 27th anniversary of Queen singer Freddie Mercury’s death, Tusk said the lyrics will act as “a motto for tomorrow”.

The lyrics come from the 1986 Queen track Friends Will Be Friends.

Via:: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/uk-position-on-gibraltar-has-not-changed-says-pm_uk_5bf994a3e4b03b230fa20fc2