Spain says Gibraltar is under ‘illegal occupation’ by the British

SPAIN’S Foreign Ministry said Britain’s control of Gibraltar amounts to an ‘illegal occupation’ as representatives from Madrid presented their case on the enclave to the UN.

Foreign Ministry officials said the British enclave was a colony within its own borders and said its ongoing ‘occupation’ raises issues in the modern era.

It comes as Spanish envoys travelled to Grenada to make the country’s case on the territory to the UN.

They argued Gibraltar was different others on the UN list of non-self governing territories because the principle of self-determination is often applied there. Almost 99 per cent of its voters rejected sharing sovereignty with Spain in a 2002 referendum.

The UN meeting was also attended by Gibraltar Employment Minister Joe Bossano. He said UN resolutions did not cover retroactively applying a sovereignty claim which dates from three centuries ago.

It comes as Spain recently got the EU to refer to Gibraltar as a colony in a document covering post-Brexit visa arrangements.

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May said at the time that the use of the term in relation to the enclave was ‘unacceptable’.

Spain has claimed Gibraltar since the enclave was seceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 following the War of the Spanish Succession.

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Joe Gerrard

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