The British government has complained about language in EU contingency plans over a no-deal Brexit. Under the legislation, direct flights between the EU and the UK will continue for nine months in the event of a no-deal Brexit. But Gibraltar International Airport isn’t included in Brussels’ plan, which refers to Spain’s claim on the 800-metre section of land.
A British government spokesman said: “We disagree with the language inserted by Spain in relation to sovereignty over the land on which the airport is built as it does not recognise the UK’s position on sovereignty.
“We are certain of our sovereignty over the whole of Gibraltar. We are also disappointed that the text that will go forward for adoption does not cover Gibraltar.”
The EU’s no-deal legislation states the “position of the Kingdom of Spain with regard to the sovereignty over the territory in which the airport of Gibraltar is situated”, and fails to mention the UK’s claim.
UK’s ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow insisted the Spanish and British claims over the British Overseas Territory should have been included.
In a statement to the EU, the UK government said it “does not accept the positions set out on Gibraltar” and “reiterates its certainty over its sovereignty over Gibraltar”.
The statement said the government “notes its regret that Gibraltar has not been included in the scope of this measure and reiterates its intention that, when it comes to the future relationship with the EU, it will negotiate on behalf of the entire UK family, including its Overseas Territories.
It comes after MEPs rejected Spain’s attempt to label Gibraltar a “colony”.
Negotiations between the European Council, Commission and Parliament broke down over legislation offering Britons visa-free access to the EU after March 29, 2019.
Spain was accused of “running down the clock” by attempting to brand Gibraltar a “colony”.
The European parliament is blocking the regulation because it currently describes Gibraltar as a colony.
Gibraltar has voted overwhelmingly to remain British in two referendums.
Britain gained control of Gibraltar from Spain n 1713 after the Treaty Of Utrecht was signed.