Spain says it will not make Brexit deal dependent on sharing sovereignty of Gibraltar

Written by Martin Banks on 9 August 2017 in News

Spain has said it will not make an EU-UK deal dependent on sharing sovereignty of Gibraltar.

Gibraltar | Photo credit: Fotolia

Speaking to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Spain’s foreign minister Alfonso Dastis said, “I place great importance on Gibraltar, an issue which takes the form of a Spanish demand for the completion of our territorial integrity.

“We will try to convince the Gibraltarians that [joint sovereignty] is a route worth exploring and that it would benefit them too.”

He added, “But what I don’t want to do is jeopardise an EU-UK agreement by subjecting it to a need to alter Gibraltar’s status at the same time. I won’t make an agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom conditional on recovering sovereignty over Gibraltar.”


Asked whether the UK could accept the possibility that EU-27 citizens in the UK could enjoy more rights than UK nationals after Brexit, he said, “This remains to be defined. I think we are very close, as there are ways of adjusting these reciprocal rights.​

“The differences are minor and I would be surprised if we cannot reach a satisfactory deal given the good will on both sides. People affected have nothing to fear.”

Dastis went on, “No one wants citizens to suffer because of this.”

Suggesting that a transition period could help resolve questions over UK financial contributions to the EU, he said, “There is an accepted tradition in the EU that time helps resolve problems. Transitional periods are a solid mechanism for finding solutions to problems.”


About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine


Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.


Share this page



Related Partner Content

Thought Leader: 'Radical reform' needed in Montenegro before EU accession: Pavel Priymakov
20 January 2014

Major problems over good governance and the rule of law obstruct Montenegro's EU membership path, writes Pavel Priymakov.

Sustainable Development can only succeed if we work together, says Huawei’s Tony Graziano
27 December 2016

Paris agreement and the UN’s sustainable development goals are a testimony to the difference we can make when we join forces across geographical, sectoral and policy dividing lines argues Huawei...

PM+: Progress report highlights increasing EU impatience with Montenegro
9 October 2014

There is growing EU frustration with Montenegro's 'contempt' for the rule of law, argues Matthias Menke.