Tag Archives: Fabian Picardo

Gibraltar: EU-UK agreement

Brussels 21.07.2021 Today the European Commission has adopted a Recommendation for a Council decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an EU-UK agreement on Gibraltar. The Commission also presented its proposal for negotiating guidelines.

It is now for the Council to adopt this draft mandate, after which the Commission can begin formal negotiations with the United Kingdom.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, the EU’s co-chair of the Joint Committee and Partnership Council, said: “By putting forward this draft mandate, we are honouring the political commitment we made to Spain to start the negotiations of a separate agreement between the EU and the UK on Gibraltar. This is a detailed mandate, which aims to have a positive impact for those living and working on either side of the border between Spain and Gibraltar, while protecting the integrity of the Schengen Area and the Single Market.”

Gibraltar was not included in the scope of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed between the EU and UK at the end of 2020. The Commission committed to begin the negotiation of a separate agreement on Gibraltar, should Spain request so. That is why the Commission is now recommending that the Council authorises the launch of specific negotiations on Gibraltar.

Today’s Recommendation builds upon the political understanding reached between Spain and the UK on 31 December last year. It is without prejudice to the issues of sovereignty and jurisdiction, and focuses on cooperation in the region.

The proposed negotiating directives put forward solutions to remove physical checks and controls on persons and goods at the land border between Spain and Gibraltar, while ensuring the integrity of the Schengen area and the Single Market. The proposals include rules establishing responsibility for asylum, returns, visas, residence permits, and operational police cooperation and information exchange.

Other measures are included in different areas, such as land and air transport, the rights of cross border workers, the environment, financial support, and establishing a level playing field. It envisages a robust governance mechanism, including a review of the implementation of the agreement after four years, the possibility for both parties to terminate the agreement at any time and the possibility of unilateral suspension of the application of the agreement under certain circumstances.

Spain, as the neighbouring Schengen Member State and as the Member State to be entrusted with the application and implementation of certain provisions of the future agreement, will be particularly affected by the agreement. The Commission will therefore maintain close contacts with the Spanish authorities throughout the negotiations and afterwards, taking their views duly into account.

With regard to external border control, in circumstances requiring increased technical and operational support, any Member State, including Spain, may request Frontex assistance in implementing its obligations. The Commission acknowledges that Spain has already expressed its full intention to ask Frontex for assistance.

Gibraltar leaders reaffirm support to UK

Gibraltarthe major focus of Spain  prevented the  European Union on to finalise a draft Article 50 deal on Friday, November 23 to pave the way for endorsement of the document during the UK-EU27 leaders’ summit on Sunday, November 25. The complications over Gibraltar raised a wave of doubts of possibility to sign any withdrawal agreement already shrouded in pessimism.

Although EU diplomats are desperately trying to resolve the problem, continuing to search for rapprochement, the independent experts are increasingly skeptical about capacities of Pedro Sánchez Socialist government to accept a compromise.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has vowed to “veto Brexit” if the terms of the Brexit deal has no amendments depiciting Spanish concerns about negotiations over the future of Gibraltar.

After my conversation with Theresa May, our positions remain far away,” Sánchez communicated in his Twitter microblog. “My government will always defend the interests of Spain. If there are no changes, we will veto Brexit.”

We are an optimistic and a positive community, [but] there is growing concern amongst many in the community as to what positive measures have been secured for Gibraltar as a result of this process for which the Chief Minister and his team are said to have worked day and night on, for the last two years,” said Elliott Phillips, the Leader of the Opposition in Gibraltar.

Earlier the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo supported the UK government Brexit position, although he cricitised the decision to leave the EU as such.“Brexit is a bad thing for the whole of Europe,” Mr Picardo said.

Brexit without an agreement for orderly agreed withdrawal would be even worse for the whole of Europe” Picardo continuded. “And for us, Brexit is as bad an idea today in reality as when it was in theory at the time of the Referendum.”

But so for us, it is always best that we stick with Britain despite Brexit” he concluded.

24/11/2018 AMENDED:

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party pledged to use its 10 votes in parliament to support the cause of Gibraltar if necessary.

The European Union is trying to reach a compromise between Madrid  and London over the future of the British overseas territory to stop Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez from blocking an agreement on Artilce 50, paving the way to orderly withdrawal of Britons.

Gibraltar is British and we will use our voices and our votes in parliament to stand with British Gibraltar,” Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds said, addressing the party’s annual conference in Belfast.

Gibraltar denies any concessions of sovereignty

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo denied any concessions made as a result of Brexit talks. In a statement issued by the HM Government it is underlined that there will be “no concessions in terms of sovereignty, jurisdiction or control”. The statement came in a form of a correction of some ‘leaks’ to Spanish media.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Britain’s Theresa May on expressed confidence that progress will be made on Brexit and on the situation of Gibraltar once the UK leaves the European Union, El Pais reports.

Speaking at a press conference following a two-day Summit of the European leaders in Brussels, Sánchez confirmed that a special protocol on the British Overseas Territory due to be annexed to the UK/EU Article 50 Agreement is ready.

Gibraltar embraces Brexit as opportunity

This week Gibraltar enthusiastically celebrated  holiday commemorates the 1967 referendum where residents overwhelmingly voted to remain under British rule, confirming it  will embrace Brexit as an opportunity.

“Today as we mark Gibraltar National Day I can assure you that this will not change as we leave the European Union” – said Prime minister Theresa May in a special address.

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he would fight to turn the “Brexit” challenge into a Brexit win”, adding the UK exit from the EU would “neither defeat nor define Gibraltar”.

 

No Brexit deal without Gibraltar

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he  had “cast iron assurances” from Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis that the government would not do a trade deal with the EU if it did not include Gibraltar.

“I’m the backbone of this negotiation for Gibraltar and the backbone is made of limestone rock, it’s not going to be easy to buckle on that. We can have the War of the Summer, the War of the Autumn or the War of the Winter, if you like, on that, Gibraltar is not going to change its position,” he said to SkyNews programme.

“It’s our obligation now to energetically and enthusiastically pursue the result of the referendum and deliver a successful Brexit. We’re not going to get in the way of Brexit but we’re not going to be the victims of Brexit.”