King Felipe VI: Spain and United Kingdom 'profoundly intertwined'

King Felipe VI: Spain and United Kingdom 'profoundly intertwined'

King Felipe VI: Spain and United Kingdom 'profoundly intertwined'

Letizia and her husband King Felipe arrived in London for their three-day visit on Tuesday.

Today the PM welcomed King Felipe to Number 10, and hailed the "deep and solid" ties between Britain and Spain as millions of pounds of business investment from the country is announced.

He said: "I am certain that [through] this [work and determination we can] resolve to overcome our differences in the case of Gibraltar".

With a population of around 30,000, Gibraltar was ceded to Britain by Spain under the treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

The territory's status was "not up for discussion or negotiation", he added.

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In response, Chief Minister Picardo accused Spain of ignoring Gibraltar's voice, and that it should be the most important during talks about its own future.

"In the times in which we live, territories can not be traded from one monarch to another like pawns in a chess game", he said in a statement.

In a stinging rebuke, he described the King's comments "undemocratic" adding Gibraltar "will remain 100% British".

The vast majority of Gibraltarians voted to remain, fearing a loss of access to the European Union if there was a vote for Brexit.

Mr Picardo said: "The people of Gibraltar want normal, friendly relations with Spain on the same basis as with any other country".

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There are an estimated 300,000 British citizens living in Spain - the majority are retirees - and around 116,000 Spaniards living in Britain.

Felipe paid tribute to 39-year-old Ignacio Echeverria, who reportedly struck one of the attackers with his skateboard before being stabbed.

The busy day for the royal family continues with Kate's visit to the Natural History Museum to help launch a new display that recreates the sounds and scents of the ocean and see the newest attraction - a diving blue whale skeleton, which is suspended from the ceiling.

The issues surrounding Gibraltar are also expected to be brought up by the visiting monarch during a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday.

Normally, royal visits are all waves and smiles, with less-than strenuous conversation with a few hand-picked commoners or the public tasting of a weird local delicacy to disrupt the flow.

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