Spain and UK extend temporary Gibraltar agreement

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Gibraltar treaty delayed until 2022

London and Madrid will renew negotiations in 2022 over Gibraltar. The temporary agreement was due to expire on 31st December 2021.

On December 15th, Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, and Elizabeth Truss, his British counterpart, agreed to extend the temporary agreement over Gibraltar until the new year.

Spain and the UK had hoped to resolve outstanding issues before the temporary agreement expires on 31st December. However, after four rounds of talks there are still issues outstanding.

Both parties expect to have adopted a formalised agreement at some point in the first quarter of 2022.

Progress has been made

London and Madrid both believe “the first four negotiating rounds have made significant progress”.

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As well as the treatment of Gibraltar post-Brexit, Albares and Truss have worked on several bilateral agreements. These include the regulation of police and customs, environmental cooperation and the smuggling of tobacco and other goods.

According to the British Embassy in Madrid, Truss reaffirmed the position of the UK on the “sovereignty of Gibraltar”.

Gibraltar hard border avoided so far

Brexit negotiations left Gibraltar out of the common market, the status quo regarding movement of people and goods was maintained for almost a year as the EU negotiates a new treaty.

Related article: The ghost of a hard border haunts Gibraltar

However, Brussels is pushing for a new treaty over control of the port and airport.

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