Irene Lozano, Secretary of State for Global Spain, admitted that getting joint sovereignty of Gibraltar could be a “bargain” for Spain if the Brexit deal was raked open again. Presenter Kirsty Wark asked the Spanish politician whether reopening the deal could be good for Spain. She asked: “If Theresa May was to manage to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement there might be something in it for Spain, because it is all about trading and two of the key issues in all this has been fishing and Gibraltar.
“People might ask for different things and Spain might ask for joint sovereignty of Gibraltar, mighten it?”
Ms Lozano conceded that this may be beneficial for Spain, but added that the “unity” of EU member states and the UK was more important.
She said: “Yes, this could be a bargain in our market.
“But I think it is more important to preserve the unity of all the members who have agreed in this Withdrawal Agreement because, as I say, the political project of the EU is more important.”
Ms Lozano emphasised that the current deal was the “way out” for the UK.
She said: “The British people said ‘we want to leave the EU’ and the EU tried to help to find the door to find the way out.
“So it would be a bit silly now to say ‘we don’t want to see the way out’ – the way out is there and it’s the Withdrawal Agreement.”
On Tuesday, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that Spain intends to revive its bid for shared sovereignty of Gibraltar.
The peninsula has been a British Overseas Territory since 1713.
However, Spain has repeatedly laid claim to the small area of land and will insist that Gibraltar be excluded from any agreements between the UK and EU after Brexit.
A Spanish diplomatic source said: “In every agreement reached with Great Britain there will be an asterisk which explains that the deal will not affect Gibraltar.”
The row over the territory risked derailing negotiations in November, but a last-minute deal cleared the way for the EU27 to vote for the agreement.