Gibraltar given 'cast-iron' pledge on Brexit trade deal

Updated: 

Gibraltar has received "cast-iron assurances" that it will not be excluded to secure a better post-Brexit trade deal, the territory's chief minister has said. 

Fabian Picardo said Brexit Secretary David Davis has offered a personal guarantee, adding he believes this will be met.

But Mr Picardo warned it would be "failure" by the UK negotiating team if the EU and Spain succeed in having Gibraltar removed from any deal.

Asked on Sophy Ridge on Sunday if he was worried the British Government could "effectively sell you down the river" in pursuit of a better Brexit trade agreement, Mr Picardo told the Sky News programme: "We've seen it before.

"We saw it in 1987 in relation to the exclusion of Gibraltar's airport from the Open Skies agreements that were done in those days, air liberalisation as it was known.

"But I've had cast-iron assurances from David Davis, the secretary of state, I've no reason to doubt, he told me about not doing a trade deal if it didn't include Gibraltar - if it was relevant to Gibraltar - will be the case going forward.

"This is a fluid moment, it's a moment of aspiration when we try and do the best possible deal for the whole of the United Kingdom, including Gibraltar, and success will mean Gibraltar is included in those trade arrangements where they are relevant.

"If we are not included because Spain, and therefore the EU, have managed to exclude us, then that will mean failure on the part of the British negotiating team, and I bet on success not on failure."

Spain has a long-standing territorial claim on Gibraltar, which has been held by the UK since 1713 and has the status of a British overseas territory.