In case you missed it, Article 50 was triggered on Wednesday. Today is Sunday, and people are already talking about war between the UK and a European ally.
Gibraltar is one of Britain’s overseas territories, found just off the coast of Spain.
During the Brexit vote, the citizens of Gibraltar voted 96% in favour of Remain, but we all know how that worked out.
As per the EU negotiation guidelines for Brexit, they intended to hand Spain a veto over arrangements concerning Gibraltar.
This apparently didn’t make Theresa May very happy, nor did it make Gibraltar’s First Minister Fabian Picardo very happy, who believes that the future of Gibraltar should be left dependant on the citizens of Gibraltar and nobody else.
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) April 2, 2017
In response, Lord Michael Howard, the former leader of the Conservative party, spoke to Sky News and ended up comparing May and Gibraltar to how former PM Margaret Thatcher resolved the Falkland Islands issue:
“There is no question whatever that our Government will stand by Gibraltar. 35 years ago this week another woman Prime Minister sent a task force half way across the World to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish-speaking country. I am absolutely certain our current Prime Minister will show the same resolve.”
In response to that response, Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, pointed out that it was less than a week since Article 50 was triggered and there was already talk of going to war with a friendly EU nation (via Indy100):
“In only a few days the Conservative right are turning long-term allies into potential enemies. I hope this isn’t a sign of the Government’s approach to the long negotiations to come. Brexiteers have gone from cheering to sabre rattling for war in four days, it is absolutely ludicrous.”
Expect more on this in the coming days.