THE UK’s deal with the EU announced today could help Gibraltar as it tries to complete a future relationship with Spain.

While Chief Minister Fabian Picardo admitted that while ‘this deal does not cover Gibraltar’ he said he was ‘optimistic’ of signing a treaty with Spain.

Talks with Madrid will continue for the next week to finalise such a treaty before December 31.

“I congratulate the Prime Minister Boris Johnson on this historic achievement,” said Picardo.

“This is the largest trade deal in history and is a huge relief given the potential difficulties that a no-deal Brexit might have created for the United Kingdom and the European Union.”

“A strong United Kingdom is better able to support Gibraltar.”

Picardo has so far revealed that Gibraltar could have some sort of Schengen arrangement at the frontier and even become part of the Common Market.

“This deal does not cover Gibraltar,” he said. “For us, and for the people of the Campo de Gibraltar around us, the clock is still ticking.

“We continue to work, hand in glove with the United Kingdom, to finalise negotiation with Spain of agreement for a proposed treaty between the EU and the UK in relation to Gibraltar.

“I am optimistic that we will be able to finalise that agreement.”

Free movement

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya has always said that a UK-EU trade deal was vital for a treaty with the UK on Gibraltar.

The proposed deal, which could give an economic boost to the whole Campo, has been heavily criticised by right-wing Spanish politicians.

According to Spain’s El Pais newspaper it would see Gibraltar become part of the Schengen area of 26 European countries.

In a report yesterday, the newspaper suggested Frontex officials would control entry to the British territory by land and air along with the RGP.

Gibraltar citizens would be able to move freely in every part of the EU too, a unique situation for Britons on the continent.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases continued to rise, with 372 active cases today and eight people now in hospital.

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