After reported lobbying from Spain, the EU's Brexit negotiation strategy is that decisions affecting Gibraltar will be run past the Spanish government.
Sure, Spain thinks Brexit is an opportunity to pry Gibralter from Britain.
Does Spain really want to encourage an EU policy that rewards and encourages separatism?
When Spain has enough separatist tendencies (and outposts in Africa) that might draw encouragement from a successful separation (even though Gibralter residents are overwhelmingly in favor of remaining part of Britain)?
And are other European states with separatist populations active or dormant really going to be supportive of such a self-defeating policy by the EU elites?
Because in my opinion, the European Union's ambitions to be a multi-ethnic empire would be advanced by breaking up European states that might decide--like Britain--to resist losing sovereignty to Brussels (even if those states resist from within the EU rather than leaving):
Why should the Brussels bureaucrats care if they ignore Belgians or Flemish and Walloons? Hell, the more the merrier. If larger states have difficulty moving the central proto-state, how will little specks on the map have any impact at all? Only the nation-states smart enough not to subdivide will retain any influence at all. But they will likely be swamped by population numbers. And who will be smart enough to resist the lure of their own flag!
There could be a Flemish Oblast and a Walloon Oblast to join with scores of other administrative entities.
This is classic divide and conquer.
Consider this incentive to divide a feature of the European Union rather than a bug. The Brussels transnational elites will laugh all the way to their new undemocratic empire while the silly people atomize their once-influential nation-states into little ethnic theme parks.
Let the people have their postage stamps and flags, the EU overlords likely think! The power will lie in Brussels, and who will be large enough to stop them?
The EU imperial project doesn't need to unify Europeans with a common European identity. The EU imperial project needs to atomize Europeans so nobody can resist the ever closer union that becomes a multi-ethnic empire with Brussels at the center playing one group off another before anyone notices.
The Rock might be the fulcrum that Brussels needs to leverage further fragmentation in Europe.