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Mayor of La Línea and Gibraltar's chief minister hold discussions

Juan Franco in a meeting with Fabian Picardo
Juan Franco in a meeting with Fabian Picardo / SUR
  • The two men have held talks before, but with Brexit looming and both sides of the border potentially affected there was a lot to discuss

Juan Franco, the mayor of La Línea de la Concepción, visited Gibraltar on Thursday for a meeting with newly re-elected chief minister Fabian Picardo and members of the government, including Dr Joseph García, deputy chief minister and leader of the Liberal party, who holds the Brexit portfolio.

This was not the first time a meeting of this type has taken place and relations between the two men are cordial. The mayor shares the Gibraltar government's concerns over Brexit and its effects on both sides of the border, so this meeting was a chance to catch up after the Gibraltar elections and discuss the latest developments regarding Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.

As mayor of the town on the Spanish side of the border, which is crossed by over 14,000 people every day, Juan Franco is particularly concerned about the border remaining free-flowing after Brexit, and protecting the rights of the workers.

On Saturday, he and other mayors of towns in the Campo de Gibraltar took part in a protest organised by the Acsteg cross-border workers association in La Línea, calling for a "humanitarian" border and for the Spanish and Andalusian governments to take account of the potential problems Brexit could cause in the area and to take measures to protect it.

Following the UK government's request to the EU for an extension this week, Picardo issued a statement saying Gibraltar will continue to work towards preparing for an "unwanted and unwise" no-deal Brexit.