The news that the Spanish Government is apparently seeking to make last minute demands to exclude Gibraltar from negotiations as to the UK’s future relationship with the EU or the withdrawal agreement until our inclusion in the future relationship has been negotiated bilaterally between the UK and Spain should not be a surprise to anyone in Gibraltar.

GSD Leader Keith Azopardi said: “This is classic Spanish policy and shows its usual ambivalence over Gibraltar. We have become accustomed at the contradictions in Spanish foreign policy and the fact that even at the best of times Spain appears to have real trouble at adopting a measured and reasonable policy towards Gibraltar that recognises us and respects our rights.

This is why we are sceptical about the structure, nature and content of the Protocol on Gibraltar and the various Memoranda that are supposed to back this up with detailed and safe agreements. We have made clear the jury is out on those agreements and they can only be judged by the people of Gibraltar when they are published by the Government and everyone is able to evaluate these. The sooner this takes place the better so that there is an end to speculation and everyone can carefully consider the agreements that have been reached over Gibraltar. Only then will people be able to decide whether this is a good or bad deal for Gibraltar.

Even if this is favourable to Gibraltar the problem of yesterday’s incident in Brussels illustrates how we as a people will always doubt the credibility or commitment of any Spanish Government to abide by any agreement over Gibraltar, whatever it may be.”