Spain issues Brexit ultimatum on Gibraltar deal

Gibraltar ‘not willing to negotiate’ with Spain says expert in 2021

Spain is pressuring the UK to accept a recent proposal for a shared prosperity zone in Gibraltar, as post-Brexit negotiations with the EU over the Rock remain standstill.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Monday that the UK needs to accept the proposal which is now in Britain’s court.

He said: “We put a global agreement on the table to build a shared prosperity zone between Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar – in Spain.

“For there to be an agreement, not only is there the Spanish proposal but there has to be the acceptance of the United Kingdom, so the ball is in the UK’s court.”

The proposal was sent to London by Spain and the European Commission back in November 2022.

Madrid pushed to seize more control over the Rock by putting forward plans to eradicate border posts between Gibraltar and Spain.

The plans would see the Rock effectively become a part of the EU’s Schengen zone that allows for free movement across the continent.

In return, Spain would take control of the territory’s borders.

Spain has been repeatedly accused of attempting to use Brexit to wrestle control of the small 2.6 square mile area, despite the majority of Gibraltar residents supporting remaining under the jurisdiction of the UK.

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Albares’s ultimatum comes as the UK Government advertised a job for the post of Governor of Gibraltar in March.

The job description, posted on the LinkedIn website, saw the Government admitting that the chosen candidate could “face a further period without a negotiated outcome” in talks with the EU, adding, therefore, that “the territory could go through a period of change”.

The text of the job advertisement on Linkedin warned of the complications that the new British Governor in Gibraltar could face, as the role entails direct responsibilities for the defence of the territory and internal security (including policing) and foreign affairs, as well as the appointment of several key officials and also being the guarantor of the “good governance” of Gibraltar’s local administration.

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The job post read: “The UK, with Gibraltar, is negotiating with the EU on Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU.

“Whilst we expect those negotiations to be complete by the start of this posting, there is also the chance that we will face a further period without a negotiated outcome.

“The territory could be going through a period of change as it adapts to a new relationship.”

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