Gibraltar says it won’t be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations over Brexit.
Its chief minister Fabian Picardo says the message that “we need to keep British” must be clear in each capital of the European Union.
In draft Brexit negotiating tips, the EU stated any choices affecting Gibraltar could be run previous Spain.
Theresa Might has stated the UK is “dedicated” to the territory and its sovereignty is just not on the desk.
Gibraltar has accused Spain of manipulating the European Council for its own political interests.
Mr Picardo stated: “Allow us to be very clear and let the message be clear in Madrid, in Brussels and in each different capital of the European Union.
“Gibraltar is just not a bargaining chip in these negotiations. Gibraltar belongs to the Gibraltarians and we need to keep British.”
The EU’s tips adopted a letter from Mrs Might formally triggering Brexit talks, which didn’t point out Gibraltar immediately.
After Mrs Might spoke to Mr Picardo on Sunday, Downing Road stated: “The prime minister stated we are going to by no means enter into preparations beneath which the folks of Gibraltar would go beneath the sovereignty of one other state towards their freely and democratically expressed needs, nor will we ever enter right into a technique of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is just not content material.
“The prime minister stated we stay completely devoted to working with Gibraltar for the very best end result on Brexit and can proceed to contain them totally within the course of.”
Mr Picardo stated he was “energetically and enthusiastically” supporting Mrs Might in her Brexit negotiations.
Gibraltar: key info
- Gibraltarians are British residents however they run their very own affairs beneath a chief minister
- The territory is self-governing in all issues – together with taxation – besides international coverage and defence, that are handled by the UK authorities
- Regardless of its small dimension, Gibraltar is strategically essential, standing solely 12 miles from the north coast of Africa. It has a UK navy base, together with a port and airstrip
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon instructed the BBC on Sunday that the UK would shield Gibraltar “all the way in which” as a result of its residents had “made it very clear they don’t need to dwell beneath Spanish rule”.
Former Conservative chief Lord Howard has recommended the prime minister would defend Gibraltar in the identical method as Margaret Thatcher defended the Falklands.
He instructed the BBC Theresa Might would present the identical “resolve” as Mrs Thatcher did over the 1982 battle.
Lord Howard stated that 35 years in the past, “one other lady prime minister despatched a taskforce midway the world over to guard one other small group of British folks towards one other Spanish-speaking nation.
“And I am completely clear that our present lady prime minister will present the identical resolve in relation to Gibraltar as her predecessor did.”
After Argentina invaded the Falklands in 1982, Margaret Thatcher despatched a process drive to reclaim the islands, within the South Atlantic.
An estimated 655 Argentine and 255 British servicemen misplaced their lives within the combating that adopted.
Labour’s shadow international secretary Emily Thornberry stated Lord Howard’s feedback had been “inflammatory” and would “not assist Britain get what it wants from these tough Brexit negotiations”.
Lib Dem chief Tim Farron added: “In just a few days the Conservative proper are turning long-term allies into potential enemies.
“I hope this is not an indication of the federal government’s method to the lengthy negotiations to return.
“Brexiteers have gone from cheering to sabre-rattling for warfare in 4 days, it’s completely ludicrous.”
Spain has lengthy contested Britain’s 300 year-rule of Gibraltar.
Gibraltarians, who quantity about 30,000, rejected by 99% to 1% the thought of the UK sharing sovereignty with Spain, in a vote in 2002.