King Felipe of Spain puts people over Brexit at the UK Parliament

“We must particularly bear in mind the legitimate expectations of decent and stable living conditions of the thousand of Britons and Spaniards who leave in each of our nations,” said King Felipe the 6th of Spain at The Parliament of the UK during the first State visit of the King and Queen of Spain in 31 years.

This is the first official visit to the UK by King Felipe and Queen Letizia. The last State visit by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia to Britain took place in in 1986.
King and Queen of Spain arrived at London on 11th July and will leave the UK on 14th July.

Following the data provided by the Embassy of Spain, in January 2017 there were 102.498 Spainards living in UK (almost a 50% in London).
Spain hosts the largest group of UK citizens living in the rest of the EU estimated at 309,000 people. France is second with 157,000 and Ireland the 3rd.

Their MM King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain along with Their MM Queen Elisabeth and the Duke of Edimburg before the gala dinner at Buckinham Palace on 12th July 2017. © House of His Majesty the King of Spain.

Leaving aside these ties between the peoples of UK and Spain, there are also historical and family bonds between Queen Elisabeth and King Felipe of Spain. He is a descendent of Queen Victoria.

Centuries ago Felipe II of Spain, was proclaimed King of England by marriage to Queen Mary Tudor, and before him, Eleanor of Castile and Catherine of Aragon were the key the dynastic alliance that tied the destinies of both countries for decades.

People first

“The UK, exercising its sovereignty and its constitutional law, has decided to leave the European Union following the procedure established in the Treaties. Although this decision may sadden us, and indeed it does, we fully respect your will.

“The British government’s intentions to remain a strategically of the Union and to continue to play a decisive role in the security of Europe and the prosperity of its citizens, offers us great hope.

“At the bilateral level, our governments must work with determination to maintain and even improve the network of relations we have built within the European project. This is something that our societies, which are so profoundly intertwined, truly demand of us,” said King Felipe of Spain, and he underscored: “Given these circumstances, we must particularly bear in mind the thousands of Britons and Spaniards who live in each of our nations, who form a sound foundation for our relations.

King Felipe of Spain during his speech befor the members of the UK Parliament (Lords and Commons). © House of His Majesty the King of Spain.

“These citizens have a legitimate expectation of decent and stable living conditions, for themselves and for their families. I therefore urge our two governments to continue working to ensure that the agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU provides sufficient assurance and certainty.

“The shared aims of the United Kingdom and Spain, partners and allies on the global stage, are reflected in our two nations’ close cooperation at the highest international levels. We should all take pride in this work, which demonstrates that the international community benefits from the combined efforts of the people of Britain and Spain, and that it can always rely on our mutual collaboration.”

On the Gibraltar issue

King Felipe of Spain also referred to the Gibraltar dispute between Spain and the UK: “…during our rich and fruitful history there have also been estrangements, rivalries and disputes, but the work and determination of our governments, authorities and citizens have relegated such events to the past. I am certain that this resolve to overcome our differences will be even greater in the case of Gibraltar, and I am confident that through the necessary dialogue and effort, our two governments will be able to work towards arrangements that are acceptable to all involved.”

On the joint fight against terrorism

“…in defence of democracy and the civic and political values that form the basis of our peaceful coexistence, I wish to recognize and praise the dignity the British people have shown when faced with the cowardly terrorist violence that has recently struck this beloved nation”…”I take this opportunity, in this House, to convey my solidarity with the British people, and the solidarity of all of Spain. You can be sure of the unwavering affection of the Spanish people. We are your loyal friends and allies.

King Felipe of Spain during his speech befor the members of the UK Parliament (Lords and Commons). © House of His Majesty the King of Spain.

“Every craven terrorist attack is an attack on every one of us; because the victims belong to all of us, no matter their origin, race, religion or condition; we owe them, and their families, our utmost respect, gratitude and unswerving determination.”, King Felipe of Spain said at the UK Parliament today. And added “I would like to pay tribute to the Spanish citizen, Ignacio Echeverría, who, along with many others, British or not, behaved in an exemplary and heroic manner during the attacks.”

Image over the headline.- Their MM King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain along with Their MM Queen Elisabeth and the Duke of Edimburg at their arrival at Buckinham Palace on 12th July 2017. © House of His Majesty the King of Spain.

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Read the whole speech given by King Felipe VI of Spain at the UK Parliament

 

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