Leaders insist Gibraltar talks remain positive


British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair and his Spanish counterpart said today talks over Gibraltar remain on track in a "positive and sensible atmosphere".

Spanish premier Mr Jose Maria Aznar has denied the negotiations have reached crisis point.

But the two leaders have refused to divulge details of their discussions during their 90-minute meeting at Downing Street.

Mr Blair's official spokesman acknowledged the talks had now entered a difficult phase, with Spain refusing to cede its claims to sovereignty and insisting on joint control of the sensitive UK military bases on Gibraltar.

But Mr Blair told reporters: "We discussed the issue of Gibraltar, where we agreed the talks would carry on, and indeed they have been carrying on, in a positive and sensible atmosphere. These talks will continue."