21 Nov, 2022 @ 15:22
1 min read

‘We are not there yet,’ Gibraltar leader says of EU treaty talks as Spain jumps the gun again

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GIBRALTAR has denied that the main text of the EU treaty between Spain and the UK ‘is now on the table’ ready to be signed by the end of the year, as indicated by the Spanish press reports.

“We are not there yet,” Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said of the claims made by journalists that Spain is ready to sign once the UK gives the go-ahead.

“The people of Gibraltar can be assured that the Government of Gibraltar will provide full, correct and accurate information as soon as it is able to and should not put reliance on any other source of information when making assessments of progress in this matter,” Picardo said.

EU treaty negotiations have been ongoing for two years.

The Spanish reports in various publication included words from Spain’s Secretary of State for the EU Pascual Navarro.

“The entire text is now on the table,” Navarro said. “The proposal has already been sufficiently explained and we trust that the negotiation will advance quickly.”

He said that ‘there is now nothing blocking it’ and that ‘the logical thing’ is for the treaty to be signed by the end of the year.

He said that the main sticking point is if Frontex officers would patrol Gibraltar air and sea borders, a main sticking point from the beginning.

But Picardo said that the path to a deal was not as clear as that.

He said all parties had put in ‘a lot of hard work and good faith’ into an agreement that is ‘agreeable by all relevant parties’.

“That there are elements in respect of which we may be largely in agreement at this stage of these long and arduous negotiations is certainly true,” Picardo said in a statement.

“We look forward to crossing t’s and dotting i’s on the text relating to all aspects of Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU at the right moment.

“For the sake and interests of citizens on both sides of the border, we look forward to this process happening sooner rather than later.”

At the same time, his government said it was still preparing for No Negotiated Outcome if the parties did not agree to those finer details.

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