SUR in English
Friday, 26 January 2024, 15:33
All eyes were on Gibraltar as the latest UK-EU negotiating round took place in Brussels this week.
Brussels, on behalf of the twenty-seven, is negotiating the agreement with London that will govern the relationship of Gibraltar with the EU after Brexit, based on the memorandum signed by London and Madrid on New Year's Eve 2020. This agreement contemplates the removal of the border and the provision of Frontex personnel to carry out checks at the port and airport of Gibraltar, among other issues.
In Brussels this week was Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar Dr Joseph Garcia, who was attending a meeting of the UK-EU Committee of the Regions Contact Group.
Dr Garcia stressed that the interests of Gibraltar required a different agreement to the one that the UK had negotiated for itself and that what was on the table was essentially a mobility deal to allow for the fluid movement of persons, with a number of add-ons including in relation to the movement of goods.
However, Dr Garcia also outlined contingency plans for no treaty and highlighted the serious consequences of no negotiated outcome on both sides of the border.
Mayor of Algeciras José Ignacio Lanaluce called for an agreement as soon as is possible, clarifying that "it cannot be at any cost" because "it must be ensured that the interests of Spain are properly defended", he said on Monday.
The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel Albares has encouraged the British government to have the "courage" to take the step to reach an agreement that will govern the future relations between Gibraltar and the EU, arguing that it needs to be done "soon" since there are European elections in June and there could also be elections in the UK.
Speaking on Friday last week, Albares reiterated that for many months there has been on the table "an agreement that is generous, balanced, and good for Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar" and which would allow the creation of the shared prosperity zone that both governments want.
This involves, he explained, "free movement of people and free movement of goods", the disappearance of the border, and also "shared use of the airport because it is beneficial for the Campo de Gibraltar".
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