Spain wants to open the door to Gibraltar with Brexit as soon as possible. To achieve this, it is essential that the European Union and the United Kingdom reach an agreement that should, in principle, build on the agreement that Madrid and London concluded nearly three years ago. But this meeting point did not come, so the Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Alparís, took advantage of the visit to Brussels to meet the head of the European negotiating team with the United Kingdom, the Vice-President, Maros Sefcovic, and. Demands to “intensify encounters,” he declared at the exit.
On New Year’s Eve 2019, Spain and the United Kingdom reached an agreement on Gibraltar for the post-Brexit period. The agreement states The demolition of any “physical barrier” (the gate) between the British colony and Spain and a system in Gibraltar and Spain for entry through the port and airport of El Peñón, which requires the consent of both parties to enter the Schengen area. This text, with some significant changes, was Basis for the mandate given by the Council of the European Union to the European Commission for mandatory negotiations What it takes between twenty-seven and London to close this chapter.
“The commission has a mandate, but the various points must be filled with content. We are already at a time when I ask to intensify contacts and to start writing now,” demanded the head of Spanish diplomacy.
What happens is that relations between Brussels and London have not been at their best for over a year. The clash over the Northern Ireland Protocol, which during the Boris Johnson government has become a source of contention and tense negotiations that are not over, is hovering over this other chapter of Brexit, that of Gibraltar, although the latter is much easier. to close.
The agreement will work out the temporary situation currently in place in Gibraltar, which since January 1, 2021 has been in a legal limbo. The former colony is no longer part of the union, but, nevertheless, the controls for passengers and goods typical of the external borders of the European Union are not established at La Verja.
Alparis also came out in Brussels to defend his partner in the cabinet, Fernando Grande Marlasca. The head of the interior was once again affected by the events at the Melilla wall last June, when at least 23 people were killed while trying to cross from the Moroccan side to the Spanish side. New videos were released this week questioning the actions of the Moroccan and Spanish authorities, and this has led to several groups in Congress, as well as Podemos’s associates in the executive branch, to request explanations from Grande-Marlaska. “No one in my contacts at the European level has asked me for clarifications on this matter,” the Head of Foreign Affairs settled, “I think Fernando Grande Marlasca is a great Minister of the Interior and I am glad that he is a member of the Cabinet.”
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