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Spain's prime minister says UK's Brexit deal opens door on Gibraltar

Spain's prime minister says UK's Brexit deal opens door on Gibraltar
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By Robert Hackwill
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Pedro Sanchez says new EU-UK relationship strengthens Spain's position on British enclave.

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Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez claims Spain's position regarding Gibraltar is stronger following the agreement between EU leaders and Britain on its withdrawal treaty from the EU.

Gibraltar, a British territory by treaty since 1713, is both fiercely British and pro-European, voting massively remain in the 2016 referendum.

"With Brexit we all lose, especially the United Kingdom. But in Gibraltar, Spain wins," said Sanchez.

It is an interpretation that may not go down well in London, and Sanchez was pressed to explain what he meant at the post-EU Summit press conference.

"Now Spain has many more guarantees. This puts Spain in a position of strength in negotiations with the United Kingdom over Gibraltar, more than we have ever had in decades of belonging to the EU," he claimed.

Spain had insisted the issue become a bilateral one between Madrid and London. It means Gibraltar is now effectively subject to a Spanish veto from any trade and security agreements between London and Brussels.

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