Fabian Picardo in an archive image. / AFP

Gibraltar Treaty and Northern Ireland Protocol totally separate, says CM

Amid speculation that the negotiations over Gibraltar's future relationship with EU will be affected, he insists they are totally different

DEBBIE BARTLETT GIBRALTAR.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has said that the latest issues concerning Northern Ireland should not affect negotiations regarding Gibraltar's future relationship with the EU. His response came amid speculation that the UK government's draft legislation to make unilateral changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol and the EU's announcement that it will resume legal proceedings against the British government would have a negative effect on Gibraltar's talks.

In an interview with local television, Picardo said it is important not to make assumptions and to bear in mind the comments made by the foreign ministers of Spain and Ireland in Madrid a few weeks ago, when they said the NI issue is something completely separate and different to that of Gibraltar. The EU Commission and governments of Spain, UK, Gibraltar and Ireland all agree that the Treaty for Gibraltar is not affected by other issues which arise, he said.

"Let's not get carried away by the way that news editors might present things; these are tough and difficult negotiations and all parties use all the levers at their disposal to obain the best possible result," he said, before pointing out that the Gibraltar negotiations have not yet reached that point.