Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis says the government is “a little surprised” at the tone of commentary in the UK over Gibraltar.

Speaking after a weekend in which former Tory leader Michael Howard suggested the UK could go to war with Spain to defend the Rock in light of the pending British exit from the EU, he told journalists that the UK is “a country characterized historically for its composure.”

“In this case, the traditional British composure has been notable for its absence”, said Mr Dastis.

Boris Johnson, the UK’s foreign minister, said today that the sovereignty of the 300-year old rock would remain “unchanged” during the country’s Brexit talks.

“The position of the Government is very very clear which is that the sovereignty of Gibraltar is unchanged, and is not going to change, and cannot conceivably change without the express support and consent of the people of Gibraltar and the United Kingdom. And that is not going to change”, Mr Johnson said, arriving for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

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