British Prime Minister Theresa May met with Spain’s acting Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy for a working lunch in Madrid yesterday. The talks were dominated by the issue of Brexit with a Downing Street spokesman saying that May made it clear that she wants to protect the rights of all EU nationals, including those from Spain, living in the UK and praised the contribution that Spanish citizens make to the country. In return though, she emphasised that UK nationals resident in Spain and across the UK, must also have their status maintained in return. Trade, tourism, and Gibraltar were some of the other matters that were discussed.
In a statement issued by the Spanish government, they said: “The British who live in Spain; the millions of tourists who visit us every year; and the British companies established here can be calm,” as Spain will continue to work to “maintain” its close bilateral relationship with Britain.”
Mariano Rajoy’s words on Gibraltar were tougher as he told May that the same conditions that apply to the British mainland after the country quits the EU, must also apply to territories such as Gibraltar. He promised to support the integrity of the UK after Brexit, but warned that once the UK left the single market and abandoned free movement, the inhabitants of Gibraltar would have to do so too, unless they went for a shared sovereignty deal with Spain.