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  1. ITV Report

King of Spain confident of deal on Gibraltar that is 'acceptable to all'

The King of Spain has said he believes an agreement can be reached on the status of Gibraltar that is "acceptable to all involved".

King Felipe raised the thorny issue of the British territory as he addressed MPs and peers at the Houses of Parliament during a visit to the UK.

He expressed confidence that "differences" over the issue could be set aside in a speech stressing the two countries long history of cooperation.

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."

– King Felipe
The monarch also had an audience with the British Queen during his visit. Credit: PA

The monarch comments come after an increase of tension over Gibraltar in recent years.

Spain has long believed that the territory should be part of its kingdom - though residents voted to remain part of the UK in a 1967 referendum.

There have also been fears that Madrid could use its position to put pressure on Gibraltar after the vote for Brexit.

The King has previously taken a stronger line on Gibraltar - but as he enjoyed British hospitality he opted for a more diplomatic stance.

He later attended a banquet with the Queen where she alluded to both Brexit and Gibraltar but said the strength of friendship had seen them through disagreements.

King Felipe was hosted by the Queen at a banquet. Credit: ITV News

In his speech today, King Felipe had also warned that Spanish citizens in the UK must have "sufficient assurance and certainty" over their futures after Brexit.

He said that Brexit "saddens" Spain but that it "fully respects" the will of the British people.

However, he added: "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.

Felipe said that Spanish citizens in the UK should get assurances over their futures. Credit: PA

"Those citizens have a legitimate expectation of decent and stable living conditions, for themselves and 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."