Britain will decide Gibraltar’s sovereignty, says foreign secretary

The status of the tiny island of Gibraltar has been the first sticking point in EU-U.K. Brexit negotiations.

The tiny island and its 32,000 residents have been under British rule for a few hundred years

Spain has claimed the territory for about as long.

Arguments over the future status of Gibraltar are pointless, according to U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

“I think the position of the government is very, very clear, which is that the sovereignty of Gibraltar is unchanged and is not going to change,” Johnson said on April 3, “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.”

The EU had granted Spain right to veto any change in Gibraltar’s status regarding the bloc.

Gibraltar, as part of the EU, enjoys an economic boost from tourists and workers traveling freely from Spain.

Its residents wonder what will happen after Brexit, which they voted to reject.

Gibraltar hopes to maintain ties to both the U.K. and the EU after Brexit.