Spain defended today at the UN that it is "very urgent" to negotiate an agreement on the legal status of Gibraltar ahead of the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU) and warned that without that understanding, there may be a "disaster" economic "in the area.
"It is clear that after so many years of discussing sovereignty, we can find a much more urgent problem," said the Spanish ambassador to the United Nations, Agustin Santos, in an address to a commission of the General Assembly dealing with issues of decolonization .
Santos, who had already delivered his speech on Tuesday, today used his right of reply after hearing the representatives of Gibraltar and the United Kingdom.
He insisted, it is "very urgent to begin negotiations that clearly establish what will be the legal status" of Gibraltar after the "brexit".
"If we do not reach an agreement, those who will be directly affected will be the populations on either side of the fence," Santos said.
The Spanish ambassador warned of the risk that the economy of the Campo de Gibraltar and the Rock "break at a decisive moment" and that the only thing that can be discussed is about an "economic disaster caused by the lack of agreement".
Santos, who recalled that the United Kingdom is responsible for the new situation that occurs with the "brexit", reiterated that Spain is willing to negotiate and reach "short and long-term agreements."
In addition, he recalled the decision of the European Council according to which no agreement between London and the EU after the British exit from the block can be applied to Gibraltar without an agreement between Spain and the United Kingdom.
For his part, the British representative in the session avoided referring in a concrete way to the situation posed by the "Brexit" and made it clear that his Government will always respect the will of the Gibraltarians in everything related to sovereignty.
At the same time, he assured that the United Kingdom is ready to collaborate with Spain in order to "establish new and deeper forms of cooperation to address issues of mutual importance in the region."
This, he insisted, must always go through a dialogue that always reflects the wishes and interests of Gibraltarians.