Madrid – Coming off of the success of the Byzantion Conference that created the Byzantine League, the strongest military alliance in the world, the second diplomatic endeavour by Queen Alba has failed to result in a success. The Queen had invited a representative from the United Kingdom to discuss the return of Gibraltar to Spanish jurisdiction.
Gibraltar is the only territory on Iberia that is not controlled by either the Kingdom of Spain or the Kingdom of Portugal. It was ceded at gunpoint to the United Kingdom in 1713. The United Kingdom then displaced the local Spanish population and settled their own people there. In subsequen years territory beyond the borders under the Treaty of Utrecht was even taken by the British, making it a colony on European soil.
While the Queen has not disclosed the exact offer extended to the British, out of respect for the privacy of dialogue between state representatives, it is clear that significant concessions were proposed to facilitate a peaceful handover.
The response from the political sphere was absolute. While the Portuguese government issued a reserved message of disappointment, the Spanish government has called the British refusal to discuss any handover of Gibraltar only the latest in a series of great insults that will not go unresponded. The Partido Socialista Obrero Español has introduced a proposal in the Congress of Deputies called the Gibraltar Liberation Law which would obligate the Kingdom of Spain to close off all land, sea and air borders to the enclave and that would prohibit the Kingdom of Spain from engaging in any diplomatic dialogue with the United Kingdom until Gibraltar is returned.
The Queen has stated that if such a bill were to pass Parliament, she would issue a veto. However, with her power still very recent she may not be able to block all proposals from Spain to pass sanctions against the United Kingdom or Gibraltar.