THE UK’s ambassador to Spain said Spanish officers could be allowed to police airport arrivals in Gibraltar, a British national daily newspaper claimed.
The Telegraph reported that ambassador Hugh Elliot breached the UK mandate on discussions with Spain over post-Brexit talks before the New Year’s Eve agreement.
Former UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab first revealed that an unnamed Brit had suggested ‘Spanish boots on the ground in Gibraltar’ after he resigned as Deputy Prime Minister.
The Telegraph said this official was the current UK ambassador to Spain in a follow-up report.
It led to the Raab, who was Foreign Secretary at the time, dropping Elliot from the negotiating team.
But Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo rubbished the claim, calling Elliot ‘a friend of Gibraltar’.
“We have not seen any statement or conduct by Mr Elliott which has been anything other than supportive of our positions and in pursuit or the outcomes that the Governments of Gibraltar and the United Kingdom are jointly pursuing,” Picardo told GBC.
Gibraltar and the UK laid down the red line that no Spanish police officer should be allowed to police entry to the British territory during a possible future EU treaty.
Instead, Gibraltar wants Frontex to regulate entry to the Rock as talks continue.
The proposal will see the frontier come down completely and Schengen checks at the airport and port.
The British ambassador in Madrid, European Commission and the Spanish foreign minister declined to comment on the row.
Raab’s resignation on Friday rocked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s supposedly stable government.
The departing Deputy Prime Minister was a key part of plans to close a deal on the Rock’s future relationship with the EU.