We will protect our Rock! Furious Gibraltar row as Spain issues fresh warning to UK

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Arancha González Laya, Spain’s minister of foreign affairs, European Union and Cooperation, said the Government protects “firmly” the interests and values of Spain and will fight to defend the sovereignty of Gibraltar.

Ms González Laya added how Spain will not prevent taking measures that end “with unfair tax competition or with violations of the protection of the environment”.

She added: “You can defend the sovereignty and promote the resolution of specific problems that for 300 years have not been resolved.”

Ms González Laya insisted the government “does not improvise” on security matters, which is why it censored the “terror stories” about alleged threats which “have nothing to do with reality”.

She said: “We are not facing migratory invasions, we are not succumbing to insurmountable threats, we are not encouraging smuggling, we are not losing battles or renouncing sovereignty.”

Ms González Laya also stressed that “Spain has not sought or wants a crisis” in relation to Morocco.

Her comments come after Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, a member of the far-right political party Vox, said since Ms González Laya took office the government’s foreign policy “has worsened territorial conflicts”.

He demanded the foreign minister makes things right “before it is too late”.

Mr Espinosa de los Monteros claimed the importance of Spain abroad has decreased.

He added: “We are no longer interlocutors in Europe.”

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory but is also the subject of a territorial claim by Spain.

It was a subject of contention during the EU divorce talks where the Spanish government was accused of using Brexit to snatch back the territory.

It was captured in 1704 and by 1713 the Spanish Crown formally ceded the territory to the British Crown.

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Spain attempted to recapture the territory twice.

It was a subject of contention during the divorce talks where the Spanish government was accused of using Brexit to snatch back the territory.

During the 2016 Brexit referendum, Gibraltar asserted its right to have its vote counted alongside the rest of the UK.

Gibraltarians voted to remain part of the European Union with 95.9 percent.

Back in January, Ms Gonzalez-Laya claimed Spain will be the “ultimate responsible and guarantor” for the application of Gibraltar within the Schengen area.

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo hit back at these claims arguing he will never allow EU border guards.

He said: “I will never bring a law to Parliament that allows it.

“In fact, whatever the agreement or the treaty provides, no Frontex official will be able to operate in Gibraltar without the authorisation granted by an act of Parliament in Gibraltar.”

In 2020, reports revealed how Spain tried to lobby US Congressmen into supporting a plan to strip Britain of sole sovereignty over Gibraltar.

The Daily Telegraph spoke to seven former members of the House of Representatives who said the Spanish Embassy in Washington DC pushed back after they signed a resolution backing Gibraltar’s British status or visited the territory.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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