Europe

EU Brexit envoy sidesteps Gibraltar row

The European Union's Brexit negotiator is refusing to be drawn into a row over the future of Gibraltar as Britain moves forward with its divorce from the bloc.

Asked whether Brexit negotiations launched last week are off to bad start due to the dispute about the British territory, Michel Barnier said Tuesday "keep calm and negotiate."

Pushed to comment, Barnier said "juridically speaking, Gibraltar will exit the Union at the same time as the United Kingdom."

The rocky enclave at the tip of the Iberian peninsula has been a British territory — and cause of friction between the U.K. and Spain — since 1713.

The latest spat arose from the EU's Brexit negotiating guidelines which leave Britain and Spain to thrash out what agreements will apply to Gibraltar.