Toyr MPs threaten Parliament walkout if King Felipe claims Gibraltar in speech

Kristopher Drake
July 13, 2017

Following Brexit, the row between London and Madrid over Gibraltar's sovereignty intensified further after Brussels claimed it would give Spain the chance to veto any EU-UK deal once Britain severs ties with the bloc.

Letizia and her husband King Felipe arrived in London for their three-day visit on Tuesday.

The fate of an estimated 300,000 British citizens living in Spain - the majority of them retirees - may also be up for discussion along with that of around 116,000 Spaniards living in Britain.

It is the first state visit by a Spanish monarch since King Juan Carlos toured Britain in 1986 when he raised the controversial issue of Gibraltar - as his son Felipe is expected to do when he addresses parliamentarians later.

The king, at 6ft 5in, towered over the Queen, and he kissed his relative on the cheek and hand when they met.

The four are all descended from Queen Victoria and shared a few words before the welcome ceremony began.

Flags of Commonwealth nations were displayed at Horse Guards Parade. With his retirement imminent, this could be the last time he performed that particular public duty.

A guard of honour, the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, lined up in front of the royal party and Philip escorted Felipe across the parade ground to inspect the troops.

The Spanish royals then enjoyed a private lunch with the royal family at Buckingham Palace, traveling in separate carriages with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

A state banquet is to be held on Wednesday evening for the Spanish royals in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace, where they are staying. Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton are all expected to be in attendance.

At the United Nations previous year, the Spanish King called on Britain to "end the colonial anachronism of Gibraltar".

The ambassador, who has travelled to the United Kingdom for the visit, went onto say the King's father broached the same subject when he made a state visit to Britain when monarch in 1986.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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