Spain: Gibraltar will be part of Brexit talks
He is suggesting a marked shift from the hardline stance adopted by former Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, who is also the Spanish Government’s spokesman, reflected on the importance of the British expatriate community to Spain and said disagreements over Gibraltar should not be dramatized.
“We want to be helpful in this process,” he told reporters. “We believe that the United Kingdom has been an actor of highest importance.” He added “We regret the decision take by the British people, but we want to help them.”
The minister’s comments were made in English in response to a question from a Reuters journalist, who asked about the impact of Brexit on British expatriates living in Spain and also on the position in respect of Gibraltar.
His response is in stark contrast to the position repeatedly set out by García-Margallo before he was dropped as Foreign Minister by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and replaced with Alfonso Dastis Quecedo, a career diplomat with deep experience of the EU. ■