Members of the European Parliament have rejected a string of amendments to their Brexit negotiating position which could have protected Gibraltar’s sovereignty and forced the EU to end unlimited migration to Britain.
A number of amendments to the European Parliament’s BREXIT resolution were tabled by UKIP, however, they were voted down by the vast majority of MEPs.
One such amendment, which was tabled on the suggestion of Dr Julia Reid MEP (who helped to write it), aimed at protecting Gibraltar. The amendment, which said: “Notes that there is genuine concern among the people of Gibraltar regarding the border between Gibraltar and Spain; stresses, therefore, that these withdrawal negotiations must not be used as a mandate to question the sovereignty of Gibraltar and introduce any obstacles along the border between Gibraltar and Spain; points out furthermore that in the 2002 referendum 98.97 % of voters in Gibraltar voted against shared sovereignty with Spain”, was rejected 496 to 139 by MEPs. Labour MEPs abstained from voting on this amendment, however, the Lib Dem and the Green MEPs voted against.
Labour, Lib Dem and Green MEPs voted against a subsequent UKIP amendment, tabled to reject paragraph 22 of the Council guidelines which states that: ‘After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom’.
Dr Julia Reid, who represents Gibraltar as a member of the European Parliament, said: “The people of Gibraltar have made it very clear, in two referenda, that they wish to remain British and under no circumstances are they prepared to share their sovereignty with Spain.”
“As British MEPs it is our duty to look after the best interests of the British people. Given that the people of Gibraltar are, without a shadow of a doubt, British, and quite clearly wish to remain British, I cannot understand how some British MEPs failed to support UKIP’s amendments.”
In addition to the amendments to protect Gibraltar, other tabled UKIP amendments to the Brexit resolution included:
- Giving the UK the right to begin negotiations towards a trade agreement with third countries – Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens voted against UK starting trade negotiations with third countries and against discussing EU-UK tariff-free trade agreement during negotiations
- Ending unlimited immigration from the EU in any Brexit deal – Labour, Lib Dem, and Green MEPs voted against saying free movement must end and the Tories abstained.
- Protecting British fisheries – Labour, Lib Dem and Green MEPs voted against repatriating fishing policy
- Stating that EU courts must no longer overrule British ones – Labour and Green MEPs voted in favour of allowing the ECJ to be guardians of the withdrawal agreement and Labour, Lib Dem and Green MEPs voted against ending the jurisdiction of the ECJ in the UK
- Ending budgetary contributions to the EU – Labour, Lib Dem and Green MEPs voted for further financial contributions after the UK has withdrawn (Tories abstained). Labour, Lib Dem, Green and the Tory MEPs (bar two who abstained) voted against no legal obligation for the UK to contribute further to the budget after withdrawal.