Brexit Reignites Gibraltar Dispute

The 300-year old dispute between Spain and the U.K. over the peninsula of Gibraltar is casting a shadow over Brexit talks even before officials have begun discussing how the U.K. is set to leave the EU.

Former conservative leader Michael Howard said during the weekend that Prime Minister Theresa May would be prepared to go to war to protect Gibraltar as Margaret Thatcher once did for the Falklands. The comments follow the publication of the EU’s draft guidelines for Brexit negotiations, which said that any new agreement with the U.K. that applies to Gibraltar will need to be approved by Spain.

“Nobody wants to talk about going to war,” Fabian Picardo, chief minister of Gibraltar, told CNBC on Monday.

He added, however, that “the way that Spain has behaved is really quite abominable.”

The sovereignty of Gibraltar has been a contentious issue between the U.K. and Spain for centuries. The territory is self-governed in all matters excluding foreign policy and defense, which are decided in the U.K. This means, for instance, that Gibraltar conducts border checks because the U.K. is not part of the EU’s passport-free area.

The paragraph in the EU’s guidelines has offended Gibraltarians, who in 2002, said no to the idea of shared sovereignty between the U.K. and Spain by 99 percent in a referendum.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza