James Cleverley and José Manuel Albares met on Wednesday. / SUR

EU negotiations progressing but differences remain

Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Albares seemed slightly impatient at a meeting with his UK counterpart this week, saying the talks cannot go on forever

DEBBIE BARTLETT GIBRALTAR.

On Tuesday this week more talks took place in Brussels regarding Gibraltar's future relationship with the EU and on Wednesday the UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverley met his Spanish counterpart, José Manuel Albares, in Madrid to discuss a number of matters including the current negotiations.

Gibraltar's Attorney General, Michael Llamas, was present in Brussels, and chief minister and deputy chief minister Fabian Picardo and Dr Joseph Garcia participated by videolink in the meeting between the two foreign secretaries for the part of their talks relating to Gibraltar.

Following their meeting, both officials sounded positive. James Cleverley said significant progress had been made towards a treaty but some parts still need "polishing", while José Manuel Albares seemed slightly impatient, saying negotiations could not go on forever and that Spain's proposals are already on the table. These are believed to include joint use of Gibraltar International Airport.

At a press conference later, Picardo said all parties are moving closer together but some differences remain, and that Gibraltar would not agree to joint use of the airport, although there is a commitment to enhanced use.