Sir Joseph John Bossano blasted Spain for being the “only obstacle” to the British Overseas Territory’s decolonisation. Controversially he said that one day The Rock will not be controlled by Britain.
Instead it will belong to and be run by the people of Gibraltar – like any sovereign state.
He said discussions about how this will take place will solely take place between the UK and Gibraltar.
Any attempt by Spain to muscle in and try to exploit the situation for its own advantage will be met with stiff resistance, he said.
The Rock’s Minister for Enterprise, Training, Employment and Health and Safety said: “Gibraltar will be Spanish over my dead body — and as the freedom fighter that I am, I still have a lot of years of fight left in me”.
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Gibraltar was ceded to the UK under the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 and was a fortress city for centuries.
Spain still claims sovereignty over it and said that the treaty is no longer valid.
The United Kingdom disputes this and insists that as long as the people of Gibraltar wish to remain British citizens they will do.
An overwhelming majority of the Rock’s 32,000 inhabitants are fervently pro-British and any movement to join Spain has a miniscule amount of support.
This hasn’t stopped Spanish politicians from continually beating the nationalistic drum about reclaiming Gibraltar whenever it suits them.
The country’s far-right Vox Party has even suggested invading to reclaim “their” territory.
This has been dismissed by mainstream Spanish politicians – but Brexit has raised questions over its sovereignty.
They have still not been resolved and some observers fear that Spain could try and use this to regain some control over Gibraltar.