Spanish king's visit to the UK
Spain's King Felipe and his wife Letizia are in London on a state visit. Addressing the House of Commons Felipe stressed the need for a solution on the issue of EU nationals in the UK and British nationals in the EU after Brexit. He said he also hoped an agreement would be reached on the British Overseas Territory Gibraltar. Spanish media endorse his initiative.
Brexit could finally resolve Gibraltar dispute
This is Felipe's most important official act since he became king, El Mundo concludes, hoping for a solution to the never-ending dispute over Gibraltar:
“Gibraltar's situation once the exit from the EU is finalised is a major source of concern for the British authorities. The Brexit is a unique opportunity to end this anachronistic situation, as the UN has been demanding for decades. … Spain has demonstrated an extraordinary willingness to engage in dialogue. The government presented a proposal for at least temporary joint sovereignty months ago. … The status quo violates Spain's inherent territorial sovereignty rights, and also the very principles the United Kingdom applies in processes such as the devolution of Hong Kong to Beijing.”
Spain catching up but UK still in the lead
The last state visit to the UK by a Spanish royal couple was 31 years ago. ABC takes a look at how the two countries have developed:
“Since 1986 Spain has been a train going upwards while the UK has been a train heading downwards. … If someone had predicted back then that one of Britain's top banks, its largest mobile phone company or Heathrow and Luton airports would be Spanish, they would have been dismissed as crazy. But this is reality today. … So why does Britain continue to be so powerful and influential? There are five reasons: respect for its institutions and the spontaneous patriotism of the British, the reputation of its science and universities, the clout of the City as a global financial centre, the soft power of its culture, and above all its population, which is growing thanks to immigration. … We, on the other hand, have a demographic problem, and if we don't do something about it we will revert to being a second-rate country by the end of the century.”