The tradition among many British residents of the Costa del Sol of going food shopping in Gibraltar could be affected by restrictions which would come into force if there is no agreement on the future relationship between Gibraltar and the EU by the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December.
A Technical Note issued this week by the Gibraltar government showed that in this event people would be prohibited from taking certain foods across the border into Spain from 1 January 2021.
The information states that it may no longer be possible for individuals to introduce any quantity of meat, milk, pet food, or fishery products into the European Union, which in this case means into Spain.
This would also include personal consignments of specific animal products such as honey, live oysters, live mussels and snails, unless their combined quantity does not exceed two kilogrammes per person.
However, other types of foodstuffs such as bread, cakes, sweets, chocolates, pasta and noodles would not be affected by the new restrictions.
So far, the Gibraltar government has issued guidance and Technical Notes on a number of aspects, including passports, identity documents, pet passports, driving in the EU, mobile phone roaming, health care, workplace rights, recognition of professional qualifications, aviation, studying, social security coordination and .eu domains, among others. It stresses that it is working hard to secure an agreement so that potential problems such as these do not occur, but is also very clear that there are some red lines that it will not cross.
The information states that "Gibraltar's departure from the European Union means that certain processes and procedures will inevitably become more difficult, cumbersome and bureaucratic. It is important that everyone is aware of this and that, where possible, they plan ahead. The Government can only prepare in areas that are within its control. Even then, there will be certain areas where mitigation is not possible because the new situation simply reflects what it means to be outside the European Union".