Home » Spanish MEP’s fury as he vows to take back Gibraltar from Britain

Spanish MEP’s fury as he vows to take back Gibraltar from Britain

A Spanish politician branded Gibraltar a “parasite” of Spain and claimed Britain should hand the territory over to the EU nation.

Jordi Cañas, a politician in the Ciudadanos party list for the upcoming European elections, made the blistering remarks on June 2, during a visit to the Spanish area neighbouring the Rock – Campo de Gibraltar.

Mr Cañas, who has been an MEP since 2019, claimed: “Gibraltar cannot be that parasite that leeches off southern Spain, Andalusia.”

Mentioning the “rampant” crime in Campo de Gibraltar, which is part of the region of Andalusia home to many holiday destinations beloved by British tourists, the MEP went on to allege the “money generated from these activities is laundered in the Rock”.

The allegation of “parasitism” dealt at Gibraltar is not new, and had already been noted – and forcefully rejected – by a British Select Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1999.

The report at the time read: “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.”

In a video shared on social media by the Ciudadanos party, the MEP was also heard claiming that the Rock is “a colony that must be decolonised”.

He added: “That territory should be handed over to Spain because this is Spain; Gibraltar is Spain.”

Pledging to bring the issue of Gibraltar’s contended sovereignty to the heart of the European political debate, Mr Cañas added: “What is happening in the Strait does not only affect Andalusia and Spain; it affects Europe.

“As always, Ciudadanos turns local problems into European issues and addresses them where they deserve to be addressed.”

The Ciudadanos MEP ended his searing remarks by pledging that “Campo de Gibraltar will become a European issue, and we will ensure that in the next five years, this will be an area of prosperity and hope that attracts lawful resources and expels illicit activities and organised crime from a Spanish and European zone.”

Ciudadanos is a populist and pro-European party founded in Catalonia in 2006 to oppose the region’s independence.

Gibraltar has been a British overseas territory since 1713, after it was ceded to the UK under the Treaty of Utrecht signed following the War of the Spanish Succession.