Spain Official Says Brexit ‘Treachery’ Line Lost in Translation

(Bloomberg) -- A Spanish official who criticized an amendment to the Brexit deal relating to Gibraltar said English translations of his comment misrepresented what he meant to say.

Luis Marco Aguiriano, Spain’s secretary of state for the European Union, used the Spanish word “alevosia” to describe the way the amendment had been introduced at the last minute.

According to the Spain’s Royal Language Academy, the word can mean treachery or perfidy. Some English language media, including Bloomberg News, used that definition. But Aguiriano said he didn’t mean that.

“That was an interpretation of my words,” he said Friday in Brussels. “I used an expression in colloquial Spanish which means ‘surprisingly and at a strange time.”’ He said he hadn’t said “traicion” which is the more common word in Spanish for treachery.

Spain is still tussling with the U.K. over the controversial clause as EU leaders prepare to meet Sunday to discuss, and potentially sign off on the deal.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.