Spain could use its veto in Brexit negotiations to target “unjustified privileges” in Gibraltar, reports suggest.
A leaked Spanish Government document, reported in the newspaper El Pais, took aim at lower tax rules on the Rock, where corporation tax is just 10% compared to 25% in Spain.
The document, entitled Negotiations On The Withdrawal Of The United Kingdom From The EU, suggested that Spain would not accept a “relationship incompatible with the Spanish position on its territorial claim” to Gibraltar, according to El Pais. Gibraltar’s chief minister Fabian Picardo hit back at “aggression and belligerence” from Spain towards the British overseas territory, which Spain also claims sovereignty to.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has previously insisted that Gibraltar’s status will not be up for discussion during exit talks after negotiating guidelines drawn up by Brussels suggested Spain could have a veto over Gibraltar’s inclusion in any post-Brexit trade deal with the UK.
Mr Picardo said: “The Spanish Government’s mask is slipping. It is becoming abundantly clear that they want to try to use Brexit to take narrow advantage. “Gibraltar will, as ever, continue to seek dialogue over Spanish vetoes and will seek co-operation and friendship over Spanish aggression and belligerence.
“Our goodwill and good faith will not be abused though.
“Soon Madrid will have to explain to the Campo why Spanish citizens starting work in Gibraltar post-Brexit don’t have the same rights as Gibraltarians in the workplace.”