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Gibraltar fury: Widdecombe’s broadside for ‘provocative’ EU – ‘Gibraltar is NOT a colony!

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52Daily Express :: Politics Feed

Meanwhile party colleague Chistina Jordan accused the bloc of adopting “bullying” tactics on the subject. And Dr Joseph Garcia, deputy Chief Minister of the Rock, said Spain’s ongoing use of the term was “offensive”. Gibraltar has been in British hands since 1713 in accordance with the Treaty of Utrecht – but its status has always been disputed by Spain, with the issue frequently politicised.

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In the Spanish general election earlier this year, right-wing party the Vox sought to capitalise on resentment at the large number of foreign nationals who claim residence in Gibraltar and work in Cadiz, hence avoiding paying taxes in Spain.

Most recently, at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on Spain’s Ambassador Agustin Santos, condemned the “pernicious effects of having a colony nestled” in his country’s territory.

In April, a footnote in legislation will will permit British travellers visa-free access to the Continent will include a footnote referring to Gibraltar as a “colony of the British crown”, contradicting the official UK Government description.

Ms Widdecombe said: “Gibraltar is not a colony. It is a British Overseas Territory.”

Explaining the ongoing use of the word, she added: “The Spanish do so because they will never recognise Gibraltar’s independence but the EU has no such excuse and therefore is being either casually ignorant or provocative.”

Christina Jordan, who like Ms Widdecombe was elected as an MEP for the South West England and Gibraltar constituency in May, along with 27 other Brexit Party candidates, said: “May I politely suggest that Spain look at Melilla and Ciudad, two Spanish autonomous cities, rather than Gibraltar if they are talking about colonies?

“Gibraltar is a full part of the United Kingdom family and has a mature, sound and modern constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom.

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“This will not change with our exit from the European Union. The people of Gibraltar had their say about their affiliation in the referendum held in 2002.

“There was a total of 1.03 percent of the people of Gibraltar who wished to join Spain.

“All parties, and countries, should respect the people of Gibraltar’s democratic wish and right to remain British.”

Ms Jordan added: “The Spanish authorities give the impression of wanting to cover up their own problems by appealing to nationalism.

“Gibraltar has one percent unemployment. Thirteen thousand Spaniards work there every day.

“Spain has an unemployment rate of 13 percent. Perhaps Spain should concentrate on sorting that out rather than trying to bully the Rock?”

Dr Garcia, who was in New York to hear Mr Santos’ speech to the UN, said: “The new, polite word for “colony” in UN terminology is Non Self Governing Territory.

“This is a misnomer in the case of Gibraltar because we are largely self-governing. In nearly 30 years, only one territory East Timor has been removed from the UN list. There are 17 territories left and most are British.

“Self-Determination means that the future of Gibraltar should be freely and democratically decided by the people of Gibraltar. The wishes of the people are crystal clear.

“The use of the word “colony” by Spain is nothing new. They are simply being offensive.

“Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and not a ‘colony’.

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“We enjoy full self-government over everything except defence, external relations and internal security.

“We have our own Government and our own Parliament, our own banknotes, coins and postage stamps.”

In December, a European Commission probe concluded Gibraltar had given roughly around €100 million of illegal tax advantages to multinational companies.

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, said: “Our investigation has found that Gibraltar gave unfair and selective tax benefits to several multinational companies, through a corporate tax exemption scheme and through five tax rulings.

“This preferential tax treatment is illegal under EU State aid rules and Gibraltar must now recover the unpaid taxes.

“At the same time, I very much welcome the significant actions taken by Gibraltar to remove the illegal tax exemptions, streamline its tax ruling practice, and reinforce its transfer pricing rules – this should help ensure that these issues remain in the past.”

Gibraltar fury: Widdecombe’s broadside for ‘provocative’ EU – ‘Gibraltar is NOT a colony!

Meanwhile party colleague Chistina Jordan accused the bloc of adopting “bullying” tactics on the subject. And Dr Joseph Garcia, deputy Chief Minister of the Rock, said Spain’s ongoing use of the term was “offensive”. Gibraltar has been in British hands since 1713 in accordance with the Treaty of Utrecht – but its status has always been disputed by Spain, with the issue frequently politicised.

Meanwhile party colleague Chistina Jordan accused the bloc of adopting “bullying” tactics on the subject. And Dr Joseph Garcia, deputy Chief Minister of the Rock, said Spain’s ongoing use of the term was “offensive”. Gibraltar has been in British hands since 1713 in accordance with the Treaty of Utrecht – but its status has always been disputed by Spain, with the issue frequently politicised.

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