The United Kingdom and the European Union resume negotiations on Gibraltar without reaching an agreement Spain

The European Commission and the British government have resumed negotiations in London to reach an agreement regulating relations between Gibraltar and the European Union once Brexit is complete. These talks had been paralyzed since the call for early elections in Spain at the end of last May, and they resumed on Monday of last week with an informal meeting between Spanish and British negotiators, which also includes Gibraltar, in Malaga. Although the official framework within which the agreement must be reached is the one that was adhered to during the past two days in London.

Although the two parties confirm that their positions are very close, they were unable to reach an agreement, so a new negotiating round is scheduled to be held in the coming weeks, according to sources familiar with the talks. Time is running out, as the agreement must be approved by the European Parliament, which will be dissolved in the spring, and the Commission itself will be renewed after the June 9 elections.

“We are committed to reaching a UK-EU treaty as soon as possible, and working closely with the Gibraltar government. A Foreign Office spokesperson said simply: ‘The UK remains steadfast in its support for Gibraltar and will not accept anything that compromises its sovereignty.’

However, sources from the Gibraltar government gave a more optimistic view: “We continue to work, along with the UK, with our colleagues in the EU and Spain to try to conclude all outstanding issues as soon as possible. The return of the same governments to Spain and Gibraltar [en alusión a la repetición en el cargo de Pedro Sánchez y Fabian Picardo] “It has allowed us to pick up where we left off and with a very positive perspective looking for technical and practical solutions that prevent any of the parties involved from having to essentially give up.”

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In an interview with El Pais newspaper last Sunday, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albarez insisted that the joint use of the airport built on the isthmus, one of the last obstacles to be removed, should be included in the agreement. “What is the meaning of excluding an element as useful to the population as the airport? To me, flights coming from Spanish airports and other European countries seem to represent progress, which strengthens tourism and relations. The airport must of course be in the agreement,” he stressed.

Recently, the British official in charge of Europe and America, Leo Docherty, answered a parliamentary question about Gibraltar Airport with the following phrases: “Foreign Minister [David Cameron] I spoke with the Spanish Foreign Minister and stressed the UK Government’s commitment to agreeing a treaty on Gibraltar between the UK and the EU. Throughout the negotiations, working closely with the Government of Gibraltar, we have put forward proposals that maintain the delicate balance of the December 2020 political agreement, agreed between the UK, Gibraltar and Spain. We are ready to explore practical and technical options to facilitate flights between Gibraltar and the European Union. “The UK will only accept terms that the Gibraltar government is happy with, and will not accept anything that would compromise its sovereignty.”

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