Home » Gibraltar fires back warning after Spanish MEP demands UK to ‘get off’ the Rock

Gibraltar fires back warning after Spanish MEP demands UK to ‘get off’ the Rock

Furious Gibraltarians have branded a Spanish MEP as “clueless” and a “puppet”, after he called for the UK to decolonise the Rock.

In a campaign visit on Sunday to Campo de Gibraltar, which neighbours the British Overseas Territory, Jordi Cañas demanded that the UK hand back the Rock to Spain.

He called the territory a “parasite” and a laundromat for dirty money from criminal gangs in Spain.

The MEP, who is a member of the pro-European party Ciudadanos said: “That territory should be handed over to Spain because this is Spain; Gibraltar is Spain.”

His remarks provoked a furious reaction from Gibraltar’s public, who took to social media to vent their anger.

One wrote: “Shhh stop the car, you’re going too fast friend. First control immigration and corruption in your country.”

Another said: “The UN Charter guarantees the right to self-determination. It is Spain that prevents decolonisation.”

“I feel sorry for this Ciudadanos character . It’s obvious that your pay will run out and you can only say nonsense if the PP or Vox catches you.”

The MEP, who is a member of the pro-European party Ciudadanos had earlier said: “That territory should be handed over to Spain because this is Spain; Gibraltar is Spain.”

Gibraltar has been a source of tenisons between London and Madrid for many years.

In 2002, the then UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw thought he had negotiated a shared sovereignty deal with Spain only for the idea to be torpedoed by local politicians and enraged Gibraltarians.

An impromptu referendum was called by Gibraltar’s chief minister at the time, Peter Caruana, in which a crushing majority of 99 percent rejected the deal.

The discussions on sovereignty had excluded the participation of the Gibraltar public and the chief minister.

The UK government now refuses to discuss sovereignty without the consent of the Gibraltarians.

Allegations about Gibraltar’s “parasitism” were rejected by a British Select Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1999.

At the time, the report said: “The use of lurid language by the Spanish authorities to vilify Gibraltar has a long pedigree.

“Our predecessors in 1981 traced back to 1908 descriptions of Gibraltar as a ‘source of contraband damaging to Spain’s economy,’ and the argument that Gibraltarians were ‘parasitic’ to 1948.”