SPAIN’S Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares gave an update on Friday about the ongoing negotiations on the future of Gibraltar post-Brexit.
Talks ‘are in a very advanced phase’ and can be ‘defined as very positive’, he said in comments reported by Spanish daily ABC.
‘We trust that the negotiations will finish as soon as possible and in the best way possible,’ he added.
The proposal presented by Spain and the European Commission to the UK includes the ‘removal of the Verja [border crossing] to favour the mobility of persons and goods between the EU and Gibraltar.’
‘The aim of the negotiation is to establish a new legal framework after Brexit that reestablishes the new relationship between Spain and the United Kingdom with respect to Gibraltar,’ the minister added.
Albares explained that the proposal ‘seeks rules on both sides’ that will see ‘The Rock’ become ‘an area of joint prosperity’.
He added that the UK already has the proposal in its gift and that reaching a deal is in its hands, warning that ‘we cannot stay in this situation forever’. He stressed that Spain had shown a ‘high level of flexibility and pragmatism to find a solution to the challenges’.
The minister clarified, however, that any agreement will not alter Spain’s long-standing claim over the sovereignty of Gibraltar, which was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
Albares made the statements on Friday at his ministry in Madrid, after meeting with the mayors of the eight neighbouring municipalities in Campo de Gibraltar, where they discussed the framework of talks between the EU and the UK on the future relationship that the British Overseas Territory will have.