Spain could “close its border” with Gibraltar if the far-right Vox party seizes control in next year’s general election, in a move which would pose huge problems for the British overseas territory, especially when it comes to importing medical supplies, a health official has warned. Kayron Pozo, who works for the Gibraltar Health Authority, said the far-right party has a “dictatorial” approach to the British Overseas Territory and would “never” change its approach to sovereignty.
The party – which claims that the Rock should be returned to Spain – has risen from obscurity to become the EU country’s third largest party with 52 seats at the last election in 2019.
It has cemented this place and could form part of a coalition government if the next election in 2023 produces a hung parliament.
The 46-year-old, a qualified podiatrist who was speaking to Express.co.uk in a personal capacity, said that if Vox came to power, Gibraltar’s relationship with Spain would change “entirely”.
Mr Pozo added: “At the UN delegation in New York the Spanish foreign minister said its position on sovereignty has not changed (it still believes that it should be Spanish).
“I think it will never change because it is entrenched in their politics.
“There are some negotiations going on – that is a good thing. We will have to wait and see what they produce.
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“We know that the Spanish position will never change. It is part of their daily politics.”
Admitting a border closure, while unlikely, “could happen”, Mr Pozo added: “Vox are extreme, far-right and they have extreme far-right views when it comes to Gibraltar. They are very dictatorial.
“We know that if they do get into power there are all sorts of issues with the relationship with Spain entirely.
“It could result in closing the border entirely because of their actions.”
Gibraltar would be badly impacted because it relied on the border in order to import goods either from or via Spain, Mr Pozo explained.
He added: “We would have to find alternatives because we don’t really produce anything here.
“It would be a major issue because it would disrupt commerce and daily lives.
“But it is nothing that can’t be sorted with pre-planning.”
Mr Pozo said that the “best case scenario is a fluid frontier without any concerns about sovereignty”.
This would benefit Gibraltar and the surrounding area in Spain because of the roughly 15,000 workers living in Spain who commute to the Rock on a daily basis.
Negotiations are ongoing between Spain, Gibraltar and the UK – with Mr Pozo claiming that a solution can be found “if everyone shows goodwill”.
Many observers are also hoping for an amicable solution.
A spokesman for specialist travel website Guide to Europe (https://guidetoeurope.com/) said finding a deal which works for everyone could herald in a “new era of warmer relations”.
In August, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo successfully sued Vox MP Agustin Rosety Fernandez de Castro for libel in relation to a series of “particularly vociferous personal attacks” on him on Twitter.
Mr Picardo, who has said he will donate his £20,000 damages to charity, once they have been paid, commented: “The judgment of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar exposes the untrue and defamatory comments by a member of the Spanish far-right Party Vox for what they are, lies and fabrications, with no basis whatsoever in reality.
“The Government of Gibraltar for as long as I am Chief Minister of Gibraltar will never allow those who seek to defame us and do us harm to tarnish Gibraltar’s good name or the reputation of the good people of Gibraltar.”