Spain’s foreign minister has said he expects the UK to “split apart” before his own country does.
Josep Borrell’s remarks came as tensions rose between London and Madrid over references to Gibraltar in the Brexit “divorce deal” document.
Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, has said he will vote against the Brexit withdrawal agreement at a special EU summit on Sunday unless Gibraltar’s future is considered a bilateral issue between London and Madrid rather than between the EU and UK.
Mr Borrell told Politico: “I am very much (more) worried about the unity of the United Kingdom than the unity of the Kingdom of Spain.
“I think the United Kingdom will split apart before the Kingdom of Spain.”
Mr Borrell said Spain would not stop an independent Scotland joining the EU if it left the UK on a legal basis with Westminster’s consent.
Madrid has repeatedly opposed nationalists in Catalonia who want the region to break away from Spain, insisting such a move would be unconstitutional.
The foreign minister also took a swipe at former PM David Cameron, telling the website: “Mr Cameron will not pass into history as the best prime minister in the history of Britain.
“Cameron played poker with his country at least twice: on Scotland and on Europe.”