Spain stresses need for post-Brexit agreement on Gibraltar

Cádiz, Spain, 4 Sept (EFE).- Recent incidents in Gibraltar, including queues at the border crossing, show the need for a post-Brexit agreement between Spain and the United Kingdom, acting Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, said on Monday.

The Rock of Gibraltar, a small piece of land at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, over which Spain claims sovereignty, has been a British colony since 1713.

The disagreement between the two nations over this territory has resurfaced since the UK left the European Union in January 2020.

More than three years later, the UK-EU bilateral treaty on Gibraltar remains under negotiation.

On Monday, Albares said during the informal meeting of EU development ministers in Cadiz, southern Spain, that the queues seen on the Spanish side of the border occurred when a special lane was set up for two-wheeled vehicles.

Gibraltar “knew for days” that this lane would be opened today “to facilitate access for cross-border workers” on the road linking Gibraltar (UK) to Campo de Gibraltar (Spain).

“The fact that the necessary infrastructure has not been built on the Gibraltar side creates a bottleneck,” the minister pointed out.

Monday’s situation adds to the three “serious incidents” that occurred in August in the Bay of Algeciras, where Gibraltar is located: an oil spill, the harassment of a Spanish fishing vessel in waters close to Gibraltar, and an incident related to a customs surveillance boat.

Last week, the Ministry presented a verbal note for the movement of various vessels in Spanish waters, while recalling that Spain does not recognize the Gibraltar waters outside the port.

“All these circumstances, like many others that we have witnessed in August, further demonstrate the need to reach an agreement between Spain and the United Kingdom” to determine Gibraltar’s situation after Brexit, Albares said.

In his opinion, the agreement should help create a “zone of shared prosperity between Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar” and “resolve situations that are clearly absurd and that, once resolved, would be mutually beneficial” and would especially serve “the 270,000 inhabitants of the Campo de Gibraltar,” said the minister. EFE


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