Brexit news: Gibraltar and UK hit back after VDL hints treaty will favor EU | Politics | New
The British Overseas Territory is not covered by the UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and separate negotiations with the EU are expected to take place to agree a post-Brexit treaty. London, Gibraltar and Madrid hoped that negotiations on the cooperation treaty could be concluded by the end of June.
However, the timetable was delayed because the European Commission had not yet concluded the search for a mandate with the European Council.
A sign that the upcoming negotiations with the bloc could be difficult, Fabian Picardo warned that once the mandate presented, it could contain aspects which would not please the Rock as well as the United Kingdom.
He added: “We must all realize that when the mandate emerges, it will be the EU’s open position, it will not be the treaty itself.
“As an open position, it will contain the EU’s initial approach to the treaty.”
The final treaty is expected to address key issues, including the fluidity of movement of people crossing the border between Spain and the British Overseas Territory.
A deal would also aim to remove the red tape required by up to 10,000 Spaniards and Gibraltar residents who cross the border daily for work.
Ahead of the talks, ministers at 6 Convent Place made it clear that they wanted a guarantee of “continuous and undiluted” British sovereignty on the rock.
Mr Picardo underlined: “We have a long experience with different governments of having to confront the EU regarding some aspects of its approach to Gibraltar, and we will not be afraid to do so now.
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“We will stand by Gibraltar’s side and be ready to take them [the EU] head to get the best deal possible. “
It comes after a first framework agreement was concluded between Spain and the United Kingdom in December 2020.
This framework agreement describes Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU prior to the conclusion of a treaty.
The European Commission said it “is currently working on a draft negotiating mandate, which will be presented to the Council”.