What on earth do most British people make of this sabre rattling? Within days of declaring a wish to exit the European Union (EU), brash right-wing politicians want to send the gun boats to Spanish waters. Such talk is the height of insanity.
Atypically EU Regulations have had statements referencing Ministerial meetings with Spain. So, the law applicable in the UK has recognised dialogue with Spain on Gibraltar for a long-time. This is nothing new. Spain has had a say on the subject during the UK’s membership of the EU.
So, seeing reference to a dialogue on Gibraltar, in an EU letter should have been a non-event. However, the UK news media has gone into overdrive this weekend. It’s the sort of sexy story many editors like to big-up to make the blood boil and kick-off as many angry voices as possible. This sells newsprint.
Saner voices will look away from this noisy diversion. As has been commented; the negotiations ahead are complex enough without making them even more complex.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist but, if I was, then I might think someone is trying to provoke a crisis. What the purpose of such provocation may be is open to speculation. Could it be that May’s Government see failure looming and need an escape path? How convenient it would be if a major crisis distracted public attention away from the day-to-day ups and downs of complex negotiations.