Rachel Haynes / Europa Press
Tuesday, 30 January 2024, 12:27
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron reiterated his commitment to continue working to conclude a treaty with the EU for Gibraltar at a meeting in London with Chief Minister Fabian Picardo on Monday.
Despite the "complex" negotiations, Cameron remains "confident that a treaty is achievable and can deliver for everyone in the region", said a statement issued by the UK government's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office after the meeting.
This is the first time Cameron and Picardo have met face-to-face since the former prime minister returned to government. The meeting follows the latest round of UK-EU Gibraltar treaty negotiations which took place last week in Brussels.
"Throughout negotiations the UK, with Gibraltar, has presented proposals to secure future prosperity for the whole region that maintain the balance of the Political Framework agreed with Spain in December 2020," the Foreign Office added.
The Gibraltar government said on Monday: "The latest developments in relation to the UK-EU treaty were discussed during the meeting, as well as the contingency preparations for a non negotiated outcome (NNO)."
"The Foreign Secretary agreed that it remained prudent to continue working together to ensure robust plans were in place for all scenarios, including a non-negotiated outcome," said the Foreign Office, reiterating the "UK’s unwavering support for Gibraltar".
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar Dr Joseph Garcia and the UK's Minister for Europe Leo Docherty.
After the discussions Picardo said that he very much welcomed the strong signal of support for Gibraltar sent by the meeting with Cameron and Docherty. “They are both good friends of Gibraltar and our meeting today demonstrates the close relationship between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom as well as the close personal relationship between us.”
Meanwhile in Spain, Minister for Foreign Affairs José Manuel Albares said: "Spain has presented a global, balanced and generous proposal to create a zone of shared prosperity between Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar." He added that Spain was just waiting for a "response from the United Kingdom".
The minister called for all political parties to support the agreement under negotiation.
"This agreement by no means diminishes Spain's claim on sovereignty," he said, insisting that was the Spanish government aims to achieve is "an agreement that guarantees the free circulation of people and goods, that does away with any physical frontier and allows us to share use of the airport".
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