Vaz told to defend Gibraltar’s record

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said Vaz and the Foreign Office were not doing enough to refute attacks on the colony.

Gibraltar was criticised in a speech made by Spanish foreign minister Sr Josep Pique. He said the British colony was ‘a parasitic economy’ living off Spain.

He added: ‘If its financial centre has blossomed, and there are more than 80,000 companies registered, that is thanks to the permissiveness and opaqueness of its financial and company system.’

‘They [Gibraltar] have not transposed the main Community [EU] directives in this field.’

But in the face of Spanish criticism, the government had not been ‘sufficiently robust’, the Foreign Affairs Committee said in a report.

And one MP went as far as to say that the Foreign Office’s attitude had given credence to the Spanish claims.

The committee demanded in future the Foreign Office ‘should have a firm policy of publicly rebutting factually inaccurate statements and unproved allegations made publicly by Spanish Ministers about Gibraltar’.


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