So Spain have had their way and have managed to persuade the European Union to allow it to be able to veto any Brexit deal with the United Kingdom, if they don’t agree to their claim to Gibraltar. Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear… this is not going to end well.
Let me go back in time, to a time before I was born. A time when an Island of penguins, abandoned whaling stations, lots of sheep and a few Islanders who liked to call themselves British, 14,000 kilometres away was invaded by a country who also believed that it had a claim to the island’s. I am sure that many here remember how that one was handled so well diplomatically!
You see trying to take away what’s left of our poor old empire is rather like kicking a gorilla in the bollocks. Sure it hurts at first, but after that the gorilla just gets angry and blindly lashes out rampaging at whatever is in its way. It goes into a blind rage and has little concern for the cost to its own well being or any others around it. Well that’s just how Britain respond’s when the last vestiges of its empire are threatened. Yes of course we wrap it up under claims of legitimate sovereignty, Britain claims Gibraltar under the 1713 treaty of Utrecht (there’s the Dutch link by the way !), and the will of the people who live in the threatened areas. Now of course we are a long way off huge naval task forces resting off the Spanish coast, and British bombers with fighter escorts in the skies, but don’t rule out the possibility, Britain is in a funny mood at the moment with the Brexiteer’s (Leave Voters) in full voice and control. All for one and sod the rest of you ! Already the sabres are being rattled, the jingoism is being practised out loud and the reassurances of Britain’s unwavering support. How they must feel re-assured ! Britain is poised and ready for the fallout from Brexit and like the gorilla are prepared for the kick in the bollocks that will follow.
Spain is threatening to build a metaphorical “wall” between the Spanish mainland and Gibraltar (wonder where they got that idea from ?) and isolate it from the rest of Europe. Now that would certainly cause a few headaches for the people of Gibraltar but I sense that they would rather be isolated and in Britain, than embraced and under the control of Spanish politicians. So we now get to the point where the EU after ensuring 70 years of peace in Europe is potentially on the verge of starting one. It is just this sort of stupidity that has given the EU such a bad reputation. It is the lack of vision and balancing the needs of the many, and in particular the biggest contributors to the EU, against the needs of one country. The concept of all 27 countries having an equal say and right to veto that has held it back for years. That is the reason why Britain voted to leave. Well besides the lies, scare mongering, stupidity and failure to understand basic economics at any rate. Certainly I feel that we should have remained and tried to amend what is broken from within rather than outside looking through the windows. It is also the reason why countries such as France, Greece, Denmark and the Netherlands all have a vociferous voice shouting to leave as well. Even in Germany, the heart of the EU there are voices of dissent. The world around us is changing and adapting, but the EU is not. IT remains a leviathan and dinosaur of an age gone by. It has to adapt or it will not survive.
I wish with all my heart that Britain had decided to remain in the European community. All of my life I have been brought up as a European, and now my country wants to take away a significant aspect of my past, now and future self, and I can not put into words how depressed and upset that makes me feel. Yet what also makes me feel equally sad is that having now irrevocably triggered article 50 and started down the path to oblivion, the EU also seems determined to deny the remaining countries the best deal they could get. A “fair” agreement that balances the needs of the majority of the members is as important to them as it is to the UK. By accepting the Spanish right to veto over Gibraltar, the EU has condemned the negotiations to failure before they start. The British Government would willingly damage itself and the future relationship with anyone in order to save what little remains of her empire, the brexiteer’s doubly so.
In the end I have little sympathy for the UK government who has brought it upon themselves, but I do feel sorry for countries like the Netherlands who could be denied a satisfactory outcome because of the EU Commissions stance over a little rock at the mouth of the Mediterranean. Like I said at the start, you don’t kick a gorilla in the bollocks and hope for a happy ending !