23 Jun, 2023 @ 09:00
1 min read

No new EU treaty talks planned before Spain July 23 election all threatening Gibraltar with hard Brexit

Albares Minister Spain

SPAIN’S Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said that while he would like to sign an EU treaty with the UK on Gibraltar ‘as soon as possible’, it probably would not happen until after next month’s general election.

Albares said Tuesday he had put on the table ‘a global agreement that covered all aspects necessary for there to be a zone of shared prosperity between Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar’.

But he added that while he was ‘waiting for the United Kingdom to say whether it is in favour of this agreement or not’, no new rounds of negotiation were planned before the July 23 election.

With the conservative Partido Popular riding high in the polls, there is a large chance Albares will not be minister at all by then.

The PSOE politician was speaking during the first ever session of the Aqaba Process to fight Sahel Islamist terror at the Merced Palace in Cordoba.

The 13th and last round of talks between the UK and the EU over a possible treaty guaranteeing a fluid frontier took place in April.

But that was before Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared a surprise election for July 23 after poor PSOE results in regional voting.

The decision throws into jeopardy any plans plans the Rock’s leaders might have had to weigh up a deal over summer.

Spanish diplomats have unofficially confirmed they could not meet with the UK again until after the election while the EU Commission has kept silent on the issue.

Even Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo admitted that any treaty would need ‘the support of the Spanish government on the day it is finalised’,

That would likely be the PP in coalition with far-right party Vox, a toxic combination for the British territory.

While the centre-right party has always made life difficult for Gibraltarians, its possible governmental partner infamously unfurled a huge Spanish flag across the western face of the Rock in June 2016.

Vox general secretary Macarena Olona said Spain and the EU should ‘suffocate’ the city by immediately closing the frontier.

Although no official details have surfaced from ministers on the reasons for the stalled talks, they have hinted at pensions, joint airport use and the degree of Spanish oversight at entry points as being some of the main areas of contention.

But Picardo has always maintained that ‘not having a treaty is better than having a bad treaty’.

The situation leaves Gibraltar in the precarious situation of being the only part of the UK to leave the EU without any formal sort of agreement, ironically despite voting by 96% to remain in the bloc at the Brexit referendum.


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