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Brexiteer UK MPs express worries over border controls at Gibraltar Airport
Gibraltar

Brexiteer UK MPs express worries over border controls at Gibraltar Airport

The Rock's chief minister has written to a parliamentary committee in Westminster to reassure it that sovereignty is not at risk

I. Gurruchaga / N. Hesketh

London / Malaga

Friday, 3 May 2024

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British Conservative MPs expressed concern on Wednesday this week about the direction of the negotiations on the future border of Gibraltar with Spain, which Spain's EU minister believes could be concluded in the next few days.

The concern in Westminster came as members of parliament's European Security Committee listened to answers from UK officials involved in the long search for an agreement on Gibraltar's relationship with the EU after Brexit.

For David Jones, who was EU minister in Theresa May's cabinet, it was "extremely worrying" that London is not rejecting what he considers to be meddling by Spain and the EU in Gibraltar, which would affect the movement of people and the management of Gibraltar Airport.

The government, represented by David Rutley, junior Foreign Office minister, told MPs that it was still committed to its "three red lines" in the talks, which are: acceptance by Gibraltar of the deal; keeping the local economy with Spain free flowing; and not interfering with the status of UK naval and air bases.

The pro-Brexit MPs on the committee, which is led by veteran Bill Cash, a staunch Brexiteer, focused on the risk of having EU border controls on UK soil at the airport and a possible role for EU courts in decisions in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo sent a letter to Cash immediately after the session asking to appear before the committee to reassure MPs that the direction of the deal does not compromise British sovereignty on the Rock.

"Gibraltar is British, British, British and it will remain so entirely. That is unchangeable and the people of Gibraltar have always been the best guardians of that," he wrote.

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