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

Written by Martin Banks on 9 August 2017 in News
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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.”


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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.”

 

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Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

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