Brexit trade talks: EU to back Spain over Gibraltar claims

The Observer has learned that the Spanish government has insisted on reference to the Rock in the EU’s opening negotiating position, which will be published in draft form on Monday.

Boris Johnson will be presented with the choice of reaching agreement with the Spaniards about Gibraltar’s future or exposing its citizens to economic peril by pushing it outside any EU-UK trade deal.

Hardly surprising, this has been a priority of Madrid and one of the principles of the EU negotiating team from the beginning. The Spaniards agreed to set it aside to allow for the interim post Brexit deal in place now. I can’t imagine anyone knowledgeable in Westminster thinking Madrid would roll over now that they have the upper hand.

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