Moment EU sent clear message about future relations – THUMBS DOWN to simple Gibraltar plea
On behalf of her European parliamentary Party EFDD, the Independent MEP requested the House approved a motion to debate the removal of any references to Gibraltar as a “British colony” from a report on the future visa status of British citizens living on the Rock post-Brexit in the event of no deal. The report saw the removal of Labour MEP Claude Moraes from his role as rapporteur for EU no-deal visa-free travel legislations as he refused to accept the Spanish description of the British territory.
Ms Reid blasted the decision as “ludicrous” and “entirely unjustifiable” and called on her colleagues in the European Parliament to vote in her favour.
She said: “The EFDD would like to request that the report on Brexit visas is debated as the first item on the agenda tomorrow.
“We believe the decision to remove Claude Moraes, a British MEP, from this report for refusing to accept that Gibraltar is a colony of the UK is not only ludicrous but it’s entirely unjustifiable.
“To reiterate, Gibraltar is designated as British Overseas Territory under British Constitutional Law.
“And the term ‘Crown colony’ is obsolete.
“The Committee should be ashamed that a majority of their members today supported the removal of the British MEP thus allowing the Spanish Government to hijack a report that had no mandate in Parliament to question the sovereignty of Gibraltar.
Perhaps this shows why it’s not necessary to have a long extension of Article 50
Esteban González Pons
“In two referenda, one in 1967 and another in 2002, 99 percent of the people of Gibraltar voted to remain British.
“I, therefore, ask this House to support a full debate on this report, to consider removing references to Gibraltar as a colony of the British Crown and misleading statements that suggest there is a controversy between Spain and the UK concerning the sovereignty over Gibraltar.”
But Spanish MEP Esteban González Pons responded it was no longer a right of the UK to “determine the position” of those who remain in the Brussels bloc after its decision to leave the EU.
And at the end of his response, Mr González Pons had a stern message for the Prime Minister.
He said: “The UK has decided to leave. There’s no point that on top of wanting to leave they want to determine our position.
“With the EU you’re either in or you’re out.
“And if you’re out, you can’t determine the position that we have to have, those of us that are remaining in it.
“If you’re leaving, don’t claim that you can decide on our behalf.
“Perhaps this shows why it’s not necessary to have a long extension of Article 50.”
It comes as the Prime Minister is expected to request a further short extension to the Brexit process at the emergency European Summit on April 10.
After an extensive meeting with her Cabinet, Mrs May extended an invitation to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to reach a cross-party solution to the Brexit impasse.
Aides said she would talk “constructively” with her political foe, declining to rule out that a customs union or even a second referendum may be part of a new Brexit plan.
“This is a decisive moment in the story of these islands. And it requires national unity to deliver the national interest,” the PM said in a televised statement from Downing Street following a marathon seven-hour Cabinet meeting.
MEPs voted against the EFDD request to change the parliamentary agenda for Thursday on visa-free access.
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