Theresa May would go to war to defend the sovereignty of Gibraltar just as Margaret Thatcher did with the Falklands, a former Tory leader has suggested.
Lord Howard said the British Government will stand by Gibraltar during Brexit talks amid claims of an EU “land grab” for the territory by Spain.
It came as Spain confirmed that it would not initially block an independent Scotland’s attempts to join the European Union (EU)
Alfonso Dastis, Madrid’s foreign minister, has reportedly said Spain would not veto an independent Scotland’s EU hopes – while stressing he does not want to see the country leave the United Kingdom.
This morning the Prime Minister told Gibraltar’s chief minister that Britain will never allow Spain to take over the peninsula against its will.
Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, has also pledged to “protect” Gibraltar “all the way”.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Fallon said: “The people of Gibraltar have made it clear that they don’t want to live under the sovereignty of Spain. Gibraltar is going to be protected all the way.”
Lord Howard told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “There is no question whatever that our Government will stand by Gibraltar.
“35 years ago this week another woman Prime Minister sent a task force half way across the World to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish-speaking country.