BRITAIN rejected a Spanish proposal to hold one-on-one talks over the sovereignty of Gibraltar yesterday after Spain issued an appeal for such negotiations to be held “as soon as possible”.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo made the appeal in the Wall Street Journal yesterday but a spokeswoman from Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said the government would not enter into any talks on the subject.
“Sovereignty is clear in our minds,” said the spokeswoman, saying the only talks Britain could envisage would be between Spain and Gibraltar over fishing practices, not over the enclave’s sovereignty or control of its fishing waters.
Spain lays claim to the British territory, which it ceded to Britain by treaty 300 years ago.
A diplomatic war of words erupted in July after Gibraltar built an artificial reef in contested waters using concrete blocks. Spain said the reef restricted access for its fishermen.
Spain tightened border controls in retaliation and threatened further action. The European Commission said on Monday it would send a fact-finding mission to Gibraltar to examine the legitimacy of those controls.