British PM Cameron's historic Gibraltar visit cut short

The visit, cut short by the killing of a Labour MP, was to stress dangers Gibraltar could face should Britain leave the EU

British PM Cameron's historic Gibraltar visit cut short

World Bulletin / News Desk

British Prime Minister David Cameron landed in Gibraltar Thursday afternoon, but due to the shocking murder of the British Labour MP Jo Cox, his historic visit was cut short.

Cameron was the first British Prime Minister to visit Gibraltar since 1968, but his plans to hold a controversial rally against the Brexit in the rocky enclave in Southern Spain were suspended after the attack near Leeds.

The government of Gibraltar expressed support for Cox and her family in a press release, saying cancelling the rally was the “right decision” although the public would be understandably “disappointed.”

The original purpose of Cameron’s visit was about much more than trying to convince Gibraltar’s 22,000 registered voters to stay in the EU. Nearly everyone in Gibraltar already wants Britain to stay— a recent poll in the Gibraltar Chronical suggests 94 percent. More likely, Cameron’s purpose was to highlight the danger that Britain’s often forgotten colony in Europe may face if Britain were to leave the EU.

Gibraltar, a tiny British enclave on Spain’s southern tip, would be in an especially precarious position if Britain were to exit the EU. It has been a British colony for more than 300 years but its government has warned a Brexit may pose an existential threat to the tiny enclave.

Demonstrating the tension surrounding Gibraltar, Spain’s government disapproved of Cameron’s presence in Gibraltar. Thursday morning Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told Spanish radio that his government “does not like” the visit.

“What’s being debated is whether the UK remain in the EU or will leave the EU, and the campaign for that should be conducted in the UK, not in Gibraltar,” said the acting Prime Minister.

“Spain continues to think that Gibraltar is part of its own national territory, not Britain’s,” said Rajoy on the radio Thursday.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Haziran 2016, 10:19