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Debates
Wednesday, 5 April 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Paul Nuttall (EFDD). – Madam President, I think what we have witnessed over the past week has been the unedifying spectacle of posturing and veiled threats, from the ludicrous suggestion that we will be saddled with a GBP 50 billion divorce bill (although we are a net contributor to the EU budget) to the claim that no trade will be negotiated until the end of the Article 50 process. This, I guarantee, would cause immense damage to the economies of the European Union and would result in putting many of your citizens out of work. It is what we call, in the UK, cutting off your nose to spite your face.

However, the most offensive position that you have taken is the proposal that Spain will have the right to veto any Brexit deal over the issue of Gibraltar. I want to make it clear in this Chamber today that the people of Gibraltar are proudly British. In 2002, 99% of Gibraltarians voted in a referendum against shared sovereignty with Spain, and the wishes of the people should be upheld. I do, however, have a solution to prevent Gibraltar being used as a pawn in Brexit negotiations and, indeed, end Spanish claims once and for all. Make Gibraltar a fully integrated part of the UK; give her and our other overseas territories their own Member of Parliament. Give Gibraltar real influence and a voice in Westminster and send a clear message that Gibraltar is not for sale.

In this area, we, the UK, can learn from our continental cousins, because the French give representation to their overseas territories, and I propose that we should too. I have been calling for this for many, many years, and with the unique opportunities that Brexit has given us, I believe it is an idea whose time has come.

 
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