Margallo on the crow…

Spain should set sovereignty as its “final objective” in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations, former Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel García- Margallo said yesterday. Mr García-Margallo, a Partido Popular politicians who is now a close advisor of the party’s new leader, Pablo Casado, said Spain had “lost around” in the withdrawal negotiations but could regain the upper hand in the negotiations for the future relationship.

“There’s an opportunity that is not yet lost,” he said. “We’ve lost a round with the divorce agreement…but there is still the agreement that will frame the future relations, in which we can take back control of the game and establish sovereignty, which is the final objective. We lost [Gibraltar] in 1713, we haven’t had an opportunity like this in 300 years and, probably, another 300 years will pass before we have one again.”

Mr García-Margallo’s time in office was defined by his abrasive statements on Gibraltar and controversial policies such as his decision to close the Gibraltar branch of the Instituto Cervantes. He is widely seen as influencing the PP’s current stance on Gibraltar, which has hardened from the approach taken by Alfonso Dastis, the career diplomat who succeeded Mr García-Margallo until the PP was ousted following a series of corruption scandals leading to a no-confidence vote in parliament. The Spanish politician, who was a founding member of the PP, was addressing an audience in Valencia, where he used Gibraltar and Catalonia to reflect on his personal interpretation of Spanish identity.

“Gibraltar is a symptom of a national sickness, the loss of national identity, which is manifesting itself in Gibraltar, in Catalonia and in other Spanish territories,” he said. “We have to recover the idea of what Spain is, of our national identity and territorial integrity, which is fundamental in these fast-changing times in which we live.”

It seems Mr Margallo like many “gallo” and politicians loves to crow with little substance or basis in reality. I’m sure we Gibraltarians will have a far greater say in what happens to us. I suppose politicians are used to crowing with a view to votes instead of reason.