Spain is “ready” to sign an agreement with the United Kingdom on Gibraltar as soon as possible. That is the message that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, will convey to his British counterpart, David Cameron.
The two Ministers will meet “face to face” this Tuesday in Brussels. Both coincide at a NATO meeting. Sources from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs have reminded RTVE Noticias that Spain has already presented its proposal for the agreement. This should establish relations with the colony after Brexit, and is ready to sign. However, it is the UK that has yet to make a statement.
“Move forward as soon as possible”
Albares explained that this Monday he spoke by phone from Barcelona with Cameron and they both agreed that we must “move forward as soon as possible.”
“What Spain wants is for this agreement to be signed tomorrow,” Albares declared in an interview on Telecinco. The minister has described the Spanish project as “very generous.”
The main obstacle to the agreement is the border protocols. Cameron’s arrival at the Ministry (he was appointed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the 13th) could advance the negotiations.
Objectives of the proposed agreement
As reported by Spain’s Efe news agency, the proposed agreement between Spain and the UK over Gibraltar is set to transform the surrounding Spanish region, Campo de Gibraltar, into an area of mutual prosperity. This initiative involves removing the border fence to enable free movement of people and goods with the EU.
The Spanish Foreign Minister Albares emphasised that this arrangement seeks to establish a post-Brexit legal framework to stabilise relations between Spain, the EU, and Gibraltar, acting through the UK. The deal will utilise the Schengen agreement for Gibraltar’s external border management. Consequently, safeguarding the rights of cross-border workers, and ensuring unhindered goods movement.
Additionally, it encompasses measures to prevent money laundering and uphold environmental and nuclear safety standards. The core focus will be on protecting the interests and rights of Spanish citizens, especially those residing in Campo de Gibraltar. Despite these developments, Spain maintains its stance on the sovereignty of Gibraltar.