In the middle of the campaign for the Andalusian elections (to be held on 2nd December and currently basically revolving around Catalonia), the bomb of Gibraltar has just exploded on Pedro Sánchez's Spanish government. In the final stretch of the Brexit negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, Brussels and London have just introduced some changes to the memorandum which, in practice, distances the Rock from Madrid as they recognise that its future depends on the United Kingdom, approving it belonging to the British family. If approved in this form on Sunday at the summit between EU heads of state and government, Spain's claim on Gibraltar will become a thing of the past.
Spain has already announced that, if nothing changes, it will vote against the agreement and, for her part, the British prime minister, Theresa May, has replied that she will protect British sovereignty over Gibraltar. While all of this was going on, Pedro Sánchez was pouting and the foreign ministry was saying that the UK had acted on the sly and on purpose. Little is known of minister Josep Borrell, the department's head, so loquacious on other occasions, since his latest incident in the Congress when he said, and lied, that an ERC deputy had spat at him in the hemicycle. Something which turned out to be false and which he still hasn't apologised for despite the clear evidence it was a lie.
Borrell had spoken about the United Kingdom from Brussels for the newspaper Politico in those controversial statements predicting that sooner will the UK split [over Scotland] than Spain will [over Catalonia]. Comments which didn't go down at all well in London, but that doesn't seem to bother minister Borrell much as it remains just another front of the many Spanish diplomacy has on the go. He's just presented a complaint to his French counterpart over the gilets jaunes protests on the border which he believes are interfering with trade; he's revoked the diplomatic status of the Flemish consul to Spain and created a significant crisis, and he's demanded, successfully, that Greece fire its honorary consul to Barcelona over his sympathy with the Catalan independence movement.
Too many fronts for a politician whose main objective at this point isn't Spain's foreign policy. Although the EU is the club of agreements, however difficult they appear, and of not leaving one of its members slighted, in the burning Madrid that is the Spanish capital today, the disgrace of all its institutions can be accepted, but Gibraltar is where the line is drawn. It's Spanish pride.