European Commission presents its position for post-Brexit negotiations on Gibraltar – POLITICO
The European Commission on Tuesday published its proposal to launch post-Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom on Gibraltar, a British overseas territory attached to mainland Spain.
Gibraltar has not been included in the scope of the EU-UK trade agreement. Just before the end of the Brexit transition period last year, Spain and the United Kingdom reached a preliminary 11th hour deal to avoid a hard border between Gibraltar and Spain by allowing British territory to do so. part of the Schengen passport-free area with the sponsorship of Madrid.
The Commission’s mandate includes proposals to “abolish physical checks on people and goods at the land border between Spain and Gibraltar, while ensuring the integrity of the Schengen area and the single market”, according to the Commission. Commission. The EU wants London to accept a customs union between Gibraltar and the EU by aligning the taxation of goods with that of Spain, with “proper checks and controls in Gibraltar,” the mandate said.
The European executive also wants a future agreement to include “asylum, returns, visas, residence permits, operational police cooperation and the exchange of information”.
“This is a detailed mandate, which aims to have a positive impact for those who live and work on both sides of the border between Spain and Gibraltar, while protecting the integrity of the space Schengen and the single market, “said Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič. , the EU’s contact person for post-Brexit talks, in a statement.
Council still needs to approve mandate before EU can launch negotiations with UK
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab swiftly rejected the Commission’s proposal, saying in a statement that it “directly conflicts” with the previously agreed framework and “seeks to undermine UK sovereignty over Gibraltar and cannot constitute a basis for negotiations “.
“We have always been pragmatic and flexible in finding arrangements that work for all parties, and we are disappointed that this has not been reciprocated,” said Raab. “We urge the EU to think again.”
This article has been updated with the reaction of UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
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