Gibraltar has intermittently featured in the headlines in recent years amid repeated incursions by Spanish ships into the peninsula’s waters. The future of the Rock – which voted by 96 per cent to stay in the EU in 2016 – was subject to much speculation and briefing during the Brexit negotiations as Spain has long sought to reclaim the tiny territory. But could an even closer relationship with Westminster now be on the cards?
A new poll for The Spectator by Redfield and Wilton — with a sample size of 1,500 — shows that the British people back Gibraltar having its own seat in the House of Commons by more than three to one. Some 39 per cent support a proposal for the Rock’s 33,000 strong population to have a Westminster constituency like Rhondda or Rother Valley, compared to just 11 per cent who oppose the idea. A further 34 per cent neither supported nor opposed the idea while 16 per cent said they simply did not know.
Such polling was music to the ears of Romford backbencher Andrew Rosindell, who has long campaigned for the Rock to have a seat in Westminster. He told Mr S: ‘The question we should be asking is not “why should Gibraltar have its own MP?” it is “why should Gibraltar not have its own MP?” Gibraltarians are British and they should have equal representation, just like all British people do. With a population now well into the tens of thousands, the logical next step is for Gibraltar to have its own representative in the heart of British democracy.
‘The polling announced today shows that the British people agree by a 3-1 margin, that it’s now time to fully welcome our fellow Brits on the tip of the Iberian peninsula into the heart of our political institutions.’