Minister to be questioned on Gibraltar’s post-Brexit position and future
20 September 2021
Why wasn’t Gibraltar included in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement and what is the Government doing about it? MPs on the European Scrutiny Committee will seek answers from Foreign Office Minister Wendy Morton at a one-off evidence session on 22 September.
Although Gibraltar, like the UK, has left the EU, the terms of the trade deal which regulates tariffs and the movement of people, do not cover the British territory. Instead, it relies on temporary, informal arrangements to keep open its critical artery with Spain through which thousands of workers commute and vital food and goods arrive every day. The arrangements also cover cross-border road transport, healthcare, waste disposal and data.
A joint framework paving the way to a permanent solution to ensuring smooth movement of goods and people across the border was agreed by the UK, Spain and Gibraltar at the end of December 2020. However, in July the European Commission detailed its negotiating position for a Gibraltar deal which then Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab characterised as directly conflicting with the agreed framework, not least because it would result in Spanish officials managing Gibraltar’s border. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares later reiterated his country’s commitment to the December Framework.
Tensions are not eased by historic territorial claims over ‘The Rock’ by Spain.
Scope of the session
The Committee is likely to examine the differences in the UK and EU negotiating positions, the stability of the temporary arrangements, and the implications if no deal can be reached with the EU on Gibraltar.
Wendy Morton MP, Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office;
Andrew Dalgleish, Deputy Director Gibraltar-EU Negotiations at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; and
Robbie Bulloch, Director Gibraltar-EU Negotiations and Deputy Chief Negotiator at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.