EU must follow UK-Spain deal on Gibraltar
6 October 2021
Reacting to news that the EU Council has approved the European Commission’s negotiating mandate on future trade relations and border rules with Gibraltar, the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee Sir Bill Cash said:
“A deal with the EU on Gibraltar must honour the principles agreed by the UK, Spain and Gibraltar in December – securing resources and the livelihoods of workers crossing the border every day. This is the best and quickest route to a deal before the end of the year.
We’re happy to see the EU has reconsidered the entirely unacceptable notion that Spanish border agents would carry out checks on Gibraltan soil. For the sake of everyone in Gibraltar and Spanish citizens working there, we hope for a speedy conclusion of talks, but loss of sovereignty and perpetual alignment with EU rules cannot be the price of the deal.
I strongly support the position of the UK Government and the Government of Gibraltar and my Committee will continue to enquire into this matter over the coming weeks and months.”
When the UK left the EU Gibraltar did too, which left the region exposed to checks on goods and workers coming from Spain on which it relies. A temporary arrangement has been in force since the start of the 2021 that has seen the removal of the 1.2km border between Gibraltar and Spain. Talks on a permanent solution are due to begin next month but giving evidence in September European Neighbourhood Minister Wendy Morton told the Committee that the Foreign Office and the government on Gibraltar were working on a “non-negotiated outcome” in case talks fail.