A fresh row has opened up in the Brexit debate after the EU described Gibraltar as a 'colony of the British crown'.
This comes after the island was described as a colony in a footnote in a piece of EU legislation proposal, which allowed for Britons visa-free travel in Europe after Brexit, which was first drafted in November.
The text said:
Gibraltar is a colony of the British crown.
The government has since objected to this terminology, with a spokesperson telling the BBC:
The EU's provisions for visa-free travel into and out of the [passport-free] Schengen area cover Gibraltar and mean that in any scenario, British nationals from Gibraltar will be able to travel for short stays in and out of Spain and other countries in the Schengen area.
Gibraltar is not a colony and it is completely inappropriate to describe it in this way. Gibraltar is a full part of the UK family and has a mature and modern constitutional relationship with the UK.
This will not change due to our exit from the EU. All parties should respect the people of Gibraltar's democratic wish to be British.
Another person that objects to this classification is Nigel Farage. Of course, it was him. It just had to be him, didn't it?
The former UKIP leader took to Twitter to voice his displeasure at the use of the word colony, calling it 'arrogant abuse from the EU' who he branded an 'awful organisation.'
Before we go any further can we just say;
Please let someone else run your Twitter. It would save you a whole lot of embarrassment.
This is rather astonishing from a man who seems to revel in the days of the British Empire, but to each their own, we guess.
People were quick to hit Farage with a few hard facts, the first of which being that Gibraltar overwhelmingly voted to stay in the EU.
A popular fact was that the old blue British passports that people are so keen to get back, awkwardly used to call Gibraltar a colony too.
Most were just shocked at Farage's sheer ignorance of history.
There is even an entire section on the 'History of Gibraltar' Wikipedia page called 'Gibraltar as a colony'.
That being said, Gibraltar is now listed as a 'British Overseas Territory', but the name was only changed in 2002 and was called a 'crown colony' upon Britain's entry into the European bloc in 1973.
As Reuters reports, other EU texts from 2006 and 2017 have referred to Gibraltar as a 'colony of the British crown'.
Looks like it's time to get those history books out again Nigel.