The chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, has warned people against taking any notice of speculation about the future of the Rock in the media, saying they should "absolutely ignore" such reports and trust the government to deliver on its promises, even in the midst of a pandemic.
The press and social media often feature claims that Gibraltar will be "handed back" to Spain as part of the Brexit negotiations, or that the Gibraltar government will want to do a deal with Spain because Gibraltarians voted 96 per cent Remain in the EU, something the authorities on the Rock have always denied.
In a statement issued on Monday, Picardo said with regard to any change in sovereignty that "we're also in the thick of the negotiations before the end of the year on Brexit, and as I said on National Day, this is an area where the Government of Gibraltar, led by me, will give not an inch....We will never agree to anything that dilutes British sovereignty, jurisdiction or control over Gibraltar in the negotiations. We are tough, we are the hawks. We will not allow them to get anything past us".
Some people in Gibraltar have expressed concern that the government is getting too close to its Spanish counterpart in the discussions over the post-Brexit future both sides of the border, and that this could lead to concessions over sovereignty. The government refutes this, and insists that it is working to achieve "shared prosperity" which will benefit both Gibraltar and the nearest area of Spain.