The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, wrote in an article for the "Daily Express" that Spain was attempting to "[manipulate] the European Council for its own, narrow political interests" and that this effort was being supported by the Council's President, Donald Tusk, DW wrote.

Read alsoBrexit officially launched as EU's Tusk gets PM May's letter After the Brexit vote, Spain reasserted its long-standing desire to see Spanish-British co-sovereignty in Gibraltar, with "the Rock" eventually becoming completely Spanish.

The article came the same day as a phone conversation between Picardo and British Prime Minister Theresa May. A statement following the call from Downing Street said the prime minister would "never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes."