21 July 2021. Daily Mail, UK: Brussels launched an extraordinary power grab against Gibraltar last night by demanding that Spanish police should be stationed on the Rock.
In a provocative move, the European Commission said a post-Brexit deal on Gibraltar would have to involve a much greater role for Spain in running the British territory.
The EU said Spanish border guards should police the Port of Gibraltar and enjoy ‘all necessary powers to perform border controls’.
The Brussels blueprint would also give Spain responsibility for granting visas to Gibraltar and allow Spanish police to pursue suspects on the Rock without special permission.
The move threatened to destabilise a delicate compromise negotiated by the UK and Spain.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accused Brussels of trying to ‘undermine the UK’s sovereignty over Gibraltar’.
It was seen in London as a crude attempt to pile pressure on the UK over wider Brexit issues. Brexit minister Lord Frost is due to publish proposals today that would tear up parts of the deal struck with the EU over Northern Ireland.
Spain has long disputed Britain’s claim on the Rock. But London and Madrid had agreed a broad framework for negotiating post-Brexit arrangements at the end of last year.