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Gibraltar is not for sale, says Boris Johnson

Staff Writer |
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has insisted that Gibraltar “will not be bargained away” during the Brexit negotiations after the UK Government came under pressure to safeguard the future of the Rock.

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The Foreign Secretary’s intervention came after a European Union proposal to give Madrid a veto over decisions on Gibraltar’s future after the UK has left the bloc.

Spain, like other EU members, already had a veto on a final deal for a future relationship between the EU and the UK.

But the EU’s draft guidelines single out Gibraltar and appear to back Spain’s argument that the Rock is a bilateral matter between the UK and Spain.

The draft negotiation guidelines set out by European Council president Donald Tusk would require Spanish agreement for the Rock to be included in future agreements between the EU and UK on issues such as trade.

Gibraltar is addressed in a single paragraph of Mr Tusk’s nine-page document, which says: “After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom.”

Mr Johnson told The Sunday Telegraph: “Gibraltar is not for sale. Gibraltar cannot be traded. Gibraltar will not be bargained away.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has been criticised in the UK for failing to mention Gibraltar in her letter triggering Article 50, starting the Brexit process, with claims the omission opened the door for Spain to further its claims over the territory.

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