Brexit May See A Very Spanish Future For A Very British Gibraltar

Brexit has taken yet another interesting turn as the European Union bestows Spain more power over the future of Gibraltar, several sources reported on Friday.

According to the leaked draft of the Brexit negotiation guidelines, the European Union has granted Spain the right to veto the British Overseas Territory’s relationship with the bloc. Gibraltar voted to remain in the EU last year, with 94 percent of the first round of local votes supporting the decision.

“After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom,” reads an excerpt of the guidelines, under Article 50 of the draft.

EU Council President Donald Tusk Shows Letter From British Prime Minister Theresa May
European Council President Donald Tusk shows a letter from U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May at a media conference in Brussels on March 29. [Image by Virginia Mayo/AP Images]

The Guardian reported that the guidelines exclude Gibraltar from any single market access arrangements between the U.K. and EU during the transition, as well as any future trade relationships with the EU “if it is not satisfied with the status of the territory.” The draft of the negotiating guidelines will be finalized by EU27 leaders at the end of April.

In addition, the draft also stated that future trade deals will be decided upon only after Britain has completed its exit. This means transition deals would have to honor the governing EU regulations.