Theresa May urged to look out for Spain who may try to claim Gibraltar
Britain must take care to notice if Spain attempts to advance “territorial claims” over the British territory amidst divorce talks with Brussels, peers insisted.
Peers were discussing the Lords’ EU Committee report which argued that Britain had a "moral duty" to ensure Gibraltar's voice is heard in the Brexit talks.
Opening the debate, committee chairman Lord Boswell Aynho said: "On one key issue no compromise is possible.
"The Government has made a commitment never to enter into sovereignty discussions against the will of the Gibraltarian people.
"The United Kingdom Government needs to be alert to any attempts by Spain to advance territorial claims over Gibraltar.
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Much of the North East of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union including Sunderland, Gateshead, Darlington, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, and Northumberland
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"Our view is that the United Kingdom Government has a unique moral responsibility to ensure that Gibraltar's voice is heard and its interests respected as we approach Brexit and beyond."
There were also calls during a House of Lords debate for the border between Gibraltar and Spain to be "as free flowing as possible" following the UK's departure from the EU.
The committee warned that with 40 per cent of the territory's workforce crossing over the border from Spain every day, withdrawal from the single market would have significant implications.
The fact Gibraltar voted 95.9 per cent to remain in the EU, places a special responsibility on London to protect the state’s interests during the Article 50 withdrawal talks, peers said.
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Theresa May walking with Spain's caretaker PM Rajoy
The Lord’s warnings come weeks after the House of Lords EU Committee questioned whether Spain will become a key British ally during the Brexit talks.
But the 37-page report concluded with a call for the two countries to “promote co-operation and good relations” and adding that it was in both countries interest to have a “free-flowing a frontier as possible following Brexit” and urged both sides to “work together in good faith”.