The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, appeared on the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme on Sky News to defend British sovereignty of the Rock and to reject any notion London might throw the territory under a bus to get a better Brexit trade deal.

This week, King Felipe suggested to the British parliament in Westminster that London and Madrid should reach an "acceptable" bilateral agreement on the territory; the government of Gibraltar labelled His Majesty's remarks "undemocratic".

There were "unlikely to be any new arrangements in relation to Gibraltar's sovereignty", said Mr. Picardo on Sunday: it will "remain 100% British".

He said that if the result of the Brexit referendum is to be respected, then so too should the results of the two referendums on the future of the Rock, in 1967 and 2002, when Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly in favour of British sovereignty.

While Picardo agreed there will have to be new arrangements for the operation of the border and for residents who need to access the European Union, he railed against the idea of Spain being given a special Brexit trade veto, which would be: "probably contrary to EU law".

"[It is] very bloody-minded indeed to say that Spain, that has a specific territorial claim to Gibraltar, should have anything other than the rights that the treaties give her, and that the Commission should pretend [sic], that the Council should pretend [sic], to create a new right is something that the people of Gibraltar won't accept, and the British government is on record as saying that they won't do a trade deal that excludes Gibraltar if it's relevant to Gibraltar."

He added that he had received "cast iron assurances from David Davis" that the territory would not be used as a Brexit bargaining chip.

Not including Gibraltar in any deal would be "a failure" on the part of the British negotiating team.

"I'm the backbone for this negotiation for Gibraltar, and the backbone is made of limestone rock, it's not going to be easy to buckle on that; we can have the war of the summer, the war of the autumn, the war of the winter, if you like on that, Gibraltar's not going to change its position."

"We're not going to get in the way of Brexit, but we're not going to be the victims of Brexit, that's for sure."

Regarding the belligerent comparison to the Falklands War and British resolve made by the Conservative peer, Lord Michael Howard, in April, Mr. Picardo defended him as "a long-time friend of Gibraltar".

"I don't think he was doing anything other than reflecting the passion with which the British people defend the right of the people of Gibraltar, as they did the right of the people of Argentina [sic], and people around the world, to determine their own future, not by force of arms, but by force of argument and persuasion."

Lord Howard, appearing on the same programme in the spring, said: "Thirty-five years ago this week, another woman Prime Minister sent a task force half-way across the world to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish-speaking country, and I'm absolutely certain that our current Prime Minister will show the same resolve in standing by the people of Gibraltar".

Brexit in the short-term, said the Chief Minister today, "is not going to be a bed of roses".