He warned the EU and Spain against its orchestrated plan to snatch Gibraltar from the UK as he prepared Gibraltarians to “fasten seat belts” for “tough waters” ahead. Mr Picardo said: “My Government sees Gibraltar’s future in one way and in one way only. As British, British, British.
“And under the Government I lead, we are closer to Britain than we have been for generations.
“So don’t for one moment believe we would do anything to change that.
“In fact, it was almost exactly a year ago that we received the greatest dividend in our relationship with Britain.”
The EU has moved to back Spain in its bid to regain sovereignty of the region which sits on its southern coast.
Brussels chiefs railroaded Prime Minister Boris Johnson into striking a post-Brexit deal with Spain about Gibraltar’s future by excluding the region from any EU-UK trade deal.
And this is because the EU is no longer obliged to remain neutral in the longstanding dispute over sovereignty of Gibraltar because Britain is no longer a member state.
READ MORE: Gibraltar chief lashes out over Rock sovereignty
“Our current commercial reality, our tourist industry, as well as our jurisdictional offering is based on a fluid frontier with the EU.
“But always offering a British marketplace, a British experience and an exclusively British jurisdiction.“Our current business model and our interaction with Europe depend on a fluid frontier that is administratively easy to traverse. In a way that delivers greater opportunities for our children in both Britain and Europe, not less.”
Spain has repeatedly attempted to take control over the southernmost tip of the Iberic peninsula despite ceding the territory to the UK over 300 years ago.
This is despite Gibraltarians displaying their commitment to Britain in a number of referendums, including in 2002 when 99 percent of residents voted down joint sovereignty between the UK and Spain.
But this has not stopped Madrid’s attempts to extend its reach over the Rock using Britain’s exit from the EU.
Approximately 15,000 people cross the border from Spain every day to work there, making them vital to the Rock’s economy.
Madrid has previously stated that for Gibraltar to keep its vital access to the single market, Spain would demand co-sovereignty over the region for at least a temporary period.