Spain and the UK inch closer to post-Brexit Gibraltar deal

AFP - [email protected]
Spain and the UK inch closer to post-Brexit Gibraltar deal
Pedestrians walk around Gibraltar Town. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)

London and Madrid are getting closer to an accord allowing free circulation of goods and people between disputed Gibraltar and Spain, the Spanish foreign minister said Thursday ahead of a meeting with his British counterpart.


Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, who will meet Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron in Brussels on Friday, told Onda Cero radio that technical meetings in recent weeks had narrowed positions and the two sides are "closer".

The two ministers will also meet European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic and Gibraltar government chief Fabian Picardo in Brussels on Friday.

The Spanish minister said he does not expect an accord Friday because of the "complex" issues. "But we are starting to be close to an accord on the general lines."


Britain and Spain, which have disputed control of the tiny territory since it was ceded to Britain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, reached a provisional accord in 2020 on free access for goods and people after Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.

But no definitive agreement has been reached.

Spain and the European Union in 2022 proposed creating a "shared prosperity zone" with Britain for Gibraltar, where thousands of Spaniards go to work each day.

But that would have meant Spain taking control of Gibraltar's external frontiers to control access to the Schengen visa free zone.

Spain has insisted that while it is ready to make a deal with Britain on free access, it is not giving up its demand to take back sovereignty of the tiny rock at the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula.



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