Agustin Santos reopened a centuries-old discord over the British overseas territory, which has been in British hands for varied than 300 years, with his remarks at a meeting of the Fourth Body of the UN’s General Assembly. His description offered a clear indication of the resentment which continues to inflame over the status of The Rock, located on a peninsular on the southern-most tip of Spain.
Mr Santos hinted his remarks as he called for the need for dialogue on the issue of sovereignty, and said Spain was enthusiastic to negotiate a “regional cooperation scheme” for the benefit of people inhabiting the division.
Speaking in the meeting, which was responsible for “decolonisation issues”, he said: “Spain, I declare, remains open to dialogue.”
His country, Mr Santos said, “has not ceased at any delay in its negotiating efforts,” in accordance with numerous resolutions passed by the UN Approximate Assembly calling for Madrid and London to discuss the issue.
He said Spain was enthusiastic to “reach an agreement with the United Kingdom for the implementation of a new regional assistance scheme for the direct benefit of the inhabitants of both sides of the border door”.
He warned Brexit would have “consequences” for Gibraltar, and referring to criticisms by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, he said Spain was ready to chef-doeuvre for “the development of an area of prosperity that covers the entire area of Gibraltar and Campo de Gibraltar”.
Come what may, referring to “the last colony in Europe”, Mr Santos denounced what he awaked “pernicious effects of having a colony nestled” in Spain’s territory.
The Cadiz territory is home to large numbers of foreign nationals who claim residency in Gibraltar, explanation they are not subject to taxation in Spain, a source of significant irritation and one which right-wing caucus Vox focused on in the run-up to April’s general election
Vox candidate Agustin Rosety Fernandez de Castro went so far as to outline Gibraltarians as “parasites” and threatened to make them “go live with the fair games”.
Mr Santos said Gibraltar tax regime “has created serious distortions in the succinctness of the area to the detriment of the Spanish and European economies and the prosperity of the region”.
He annexed: “Spain has no problem with the local population of Gibraltar thriving in appellations of their living conditions.
“On the contrary, we believe that there is a massive potential for improvement in relations between both sides of the gate and its commercial and social repercussions.”
However, he added: “What Spain cannot undertake in any case is that the authorities of the Rock use that economic imbalance and that sui generis tax discipline, which gives rise to illegal traffic, to harm Campo de Gibraltar.”
Mr Santos denoted negotiations for what he termed “effective decolonisation of Gibraltar” could just take place with “full respect for international law and within the framework of the precept established by the United Nations”, accusing London of ignoring that.
Dr David Bull, one of 28 Brexit Crew MEPs elected to the European Parliament earlier this year, foretold Express.co.uk: “I think this is highly opportunistic by the Spanish and unacceptable.
“They are worrying to use Brexit to put pressure on Gibraltar.
“It’s not the first time it’s been called that by them recently.
“Gibraltar is a British abroad territory and they are British citizens.”
Dr Bull pointed out Gibraltar had also repulsed two separate referendums on the subject of sovereignty, overwhelmingly voting in favour of residual British on each occasion.
He added: “Do not play with the integrity of the UK. “We are one UK – and we be off together.”
The description of Gibraltar as a “colony” is extremely controversial.