The Spanish Government is “ready” to support the signing of an agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom on Gibraltar after Brexit. This is what the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation himself stated this Monday, Jose Manuel Albares, during his appearance at the Foreign Commission of the Congress of Deputies, led by San Roque Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix.
Albares, who appeared to report on the priority lines of action in the foreign policy of the XV Legislature, explained that Spain “presents a comprehensive, balanced, and generous proposal to create an area of shared prosperity between Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar which allows the freedom of movement of people and goods, the physical elimination of the Fence and the joint use of the airport.”
“Spain is ready to sign the agreement, and I am asking for your support for this,” he said to the deputies present. “We are currently waiting for the answer, United Kingdom, added Albares, for whom it is an ” important thing “within Spanish foreign policy.
“We show our partners the leadership of Spain and the Europeanism in Spanish society; we are working for a fairer, stronger, more united Europe, and we will continue to do so in this legislature,” assures another time of an intervention made when “a new world order is defined.”
The treaty must be concluded before it can be dissolved by the European Parliament for conducting the election from June 6 to 9, 2024. Otherwise, the agreement will be delayed. The time is more pressing than it seems because, after closing a draft, the treaty itself must be drafted and submitted to the vote of the parliaments of the member states, Westminster, and Gibraltar. In addition, elections must be held in the United Kingdom in 2024, so the situation in Gibraltar risks re-entering the limbo set by political times.
The negotiations were conducted based on the so-called New Year’s Eve Agreement, a non-binding agreement, but it is important that Spain and the United Kingdom reach an agreement to strengthen the future agreement, which begins negotiations in October 2021.
On January 25, the Prime Minister of Gibraltar, Fabián Picardo, said that the negotiators of the agreement hope to meet again in the coming weeks to address the “final and important” details of the document. Picardo in Parliament answered questions from the leader of the opposition, Keith Azopardias. Negotiators held the 15th round of talks, which ended on Thursday in Brussels after three days.
“I hope we can finish the negotiations; they’re coming. We are very united, as always. In any negotiation, the final details are always the most important, Picardo stated in statements collected by the Gibraltar Chronicle. “The final details are not much different from the problems one has faced for many years,” the prime minister said.
In the fourteenth round of talks held from December 13 to 14, 2023, “some of the main pillars in the next agreement”—as confirmed by sources in the community—happened eight months after they were postponed due to the electoral processes carried out in Spain and Gibraltar.
In the third week of January, the Government of the United Kingdom signed its promise to reach an agreement with the European Union on Gibraltar “as soon as possible,” although he reiterated that he would not accept any agreement that would compromise his sovereignty. The statement is part of the government’s response to the report of the Committee on the UK Mission to the EU published on the 16th.
“The United Kingdom, working closely with the Government of Gibraltar, is committed to concluding an agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU regarding Gibraltar’s sovereignty as soon as possible,” the Parliament’s response stated.
In November 2023, Jose Manuel Albares It has been announced that the governments of the United Kingdom and Spain are close to reaching an agreement on the status of the colony, while the prime minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, continued in his New Year’s message that “the issue of Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU” will be resolved in the first half of 2024.
Gibraltar is not included in the large withdrawal agreement agreed in Brussels and London in 2020. This requires a separately agreed solution that requires the approval of Spain. This is what negotiated the ultimate goal of creating a “zone of shared prosperity” between the two regions and “broke down” the fence, which will set up port and airport controls in Schengen.