‘The final say belongs to us!’ Spain is pleading with the EU to back its Brexit power grab in Gibraltar.

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‘The final say belongs to us!’ Spain is pleading with the EU to back its Brexit power grab in Gibraltar.

SPAIN is encouraging the European Union to strengthen its grip over Gibraltar by accepting the post-Brexit negotiation mandate “as soon as possible.”

Madrid has urged Slovenia, which now holds the EU’s rotating six-month presidency, to expedite the fighting over the UK-EU treaty that covers the Isle of Man. During a meeting between Spain’s foreign minister Jose Manuel Albares and his Slovenian counterpart Anze Logar on Monday, the question of the British overseas territory was brought up. “I have indicated to my colleague my hope that the presidency works for the acceptance of the negotiating mandate for a Gibraltar deal between the EU and the United Kingdom as soon as possible,” Mr Albares added.

“This is clearly a top problem for us, for Spain.”

Late in July, the European Commission released a 26-page proposal for the EU’s negotiating framework, but the European Council must accept it before the talks can begin.

After Brussels suggested that Spanish border guards could be deployed in the region for the first time in more than 300 years, the draft mandate prompted outrage in Gibraltar and the United Kingdom.

The EU, supported by Madrid, violated a temporary deal reached between the British and Spanish governments last year about Gibraltar’s post-Brexit status.

Senior EU officials are presently reviewing the EU plans before giving the green light to Commission negotiators to try to reach an agreement.

Mr Albares met with Spanish MPs on Monday to discuss the post-Brexit negotiations on Gibraltar.

Outside of the EU, the UK is Spain’s fifth-largest partner and “one of our primary interlocutors,” according to the foreign minister.

He stressed that the future of the Rock, which Spain has claimed sovereignty over since Britain received it as part of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, was a major topic of conversation with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

“We will attentively monitor this negotiation in the next months,” Mr Albares said.

“The final agreement must be approved by Spain first, and I can guarantee you that our country will accept only an accord that appropriately safeguards our interests and sovereignty position.”

Conservative legislators are pressuring the Spanish government to utilize the post-Brexit discussions to strengthen Madrid’s grip on Gibraltar.

“Brinkwire Summary News,” by Maria Martinez Ferro, a member of the Partido Popular.

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