Gibraltar warning as Brexiteer claims ‘monumental sellout on the playing cards’ | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Britain is on the verge of a “monumental sellout” in the case of sovereignty of Gibraltar, a Brexit-backing London suppose tank has claimed after a gathering between Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron and European Union officers.

However, the Chief Miniser Fabian Picardo has vehemently denied any settlement between the UK and the bloc wil jeapordise the Rock’s shut ties with Britain, insisting ideas on the contrary had been “abhorrent to me and to all Gibraltarians”.

The Bruges Group, headed up by director Robert Oulds, issued its warning after House of Commons’s European scrutiny committee (ESC) highlighted issues about high-level conferences between the previous UK Prime Minister and representatives from Brussels.

A Bruges Group submit on X written by Mr Oulds declared: “MPs are right to be concerned about negotiations over Gibraltar. All indications are that a monumental (and unnecessary) sellout is on the horizon.

It continued: “We must not compromise British sovereignty to appease the rotten EU.”

Another submit added: “Negotiations over Gibraltar are taking place behind closed doors and with minimal oversight from MPs.

“It is highly likely that the resulting abomination will be presented as a fait accompli. This is underhand, unacceptable and has echoes of the NI Backstop.”

Mr Oulds subsequently instructed “Cameron may surrender the airport to Spain. It’s vital that Britain keeps control of this crucial piece of infrastructure.”

Any transfer to take action would hand an enormous quantity of management to Spain and “cut Gibraltar’s lifeline to the world”, Mr Oulds argued.

An ESC letter signed by chairman Sir Bill Cash to David Rutley, Minister for Americas, Caribbean and Overseas Territories, earlier this week stated: “Rather than being assured that you are pursuing a deal that strikes this balance and, most importantly, respects UK sovereignty, we are concerned that you are allowing the pendulum to swing too far in the direction of the EU.

One significant concern for the committee related to how UK nationals and Gibraltarians would be handled if Schengen controls were introduced at Gibraltar’s airport as opposed to the land border.

There was a risk of eroding UK sovereignty “to the point of meaninglessness”, Mr Cash claimed.

In a subsequent letter to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Picardo stated: “The suggestion from the European scrutiny committee that I or any Gibraltarian chief minister or politician would sign up to terms that would weaken our sovereignty, control or jurisdiction over a single inch of the Rock is abhorrent to me and to all Gibraltarians.

“Were I to agree to even a hint of that, my cabinet and I would not survive walking even a single imperial yard down Main Street, Gibraltar.”

He added: “I understand Parliament’s anxiety to know the terms and implications of any UK-EU agreement for Gibraltar that is reached. They will be satisfied.”

Mr Picardo met with Lord Cameron on Thursday in London for discussions associated to excellent points and issues in ongoing negotiations with the EU.

Afterwards he stated: “We were both clear about our determination to work to clear these final challenges but resolute that without these being resolved we could not finalise matters.

“We had been each equally filled with reward for our respective groups and clear that we are able to see that our negotiating counterparts are as keen and captivated with finalising issues in good religion.

“I used to be significantly inspired by the phrases of my dialogue with the Foreign Secretary and Minister Rutley.”