GIBRALTAR will have last word over talks on the final Schengen treaty, its Chief Minister has revealed.

Fabian Picardo invested a lot of time in Madrid to strike the New Year’s Eve agreement and this was reflected in his New Year message.

He assured Gibraltarians that sovereignty was ‘specifically off the table’ in talks and just in case, the Rock could back out if it ever felt this was under threat.

“No officer of FRONTEX will be able to operate in Gibraltar other than under permission to be provided by an Act of Parliament in Gibraltar,” said Picardo.

“And no law enforcement agent of Spain will be permitted by Gibraltar law to have any executive or other jurisdiction in Gibraltar.”

He said that while Schengen states would have power to grant visas into its area, Gibraltar had its own power to grant visas too for those staying on the Rock.

Picardo was adamant that his government, elected for three terms running, had done the best possible within the two minefields of Brexit and COVID-19.

The New Hope speech title was relevant for both the Schengen agreement and the arrival of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Finally, readers might have noticed the comic twist of his message, named after a Star Wars film, a common theme in his public messages.

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