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After 12th round, optimism but no detail on treaty talks

The Gibraltar Government last night said it remained optimistic that a “safe, secure and beneficial” UK/EU treaty on Gibraltar’s post-Brexit relations with the bloc could be concluded.

No.6 Convent Place made the statement as the twelfth round of formal negotiation between the UK – with Gibraltar - and the EU concluded in London.

There had been wide expectation of tangible progress after this round after Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said two weeks ago that “we’re very close to a deal”.

But while the statements from all sides in recent weeks have been positive, there are clearly still issues to resolve.

What those issues are, however, is something negotiators are keeping a tight lid on, having previously stated on numerous occasions that they will not negotiate in public or through the media.

On Friday there was no further information on the nature of the discussions or the areas of disagreement.

As in previous rounds, the update was limited to signalling optimism that a deal can be sealed.

“The Government welcomes the continuation of the negotiating process and the positive and constructive approach of the teams in the room and very much looks forward to the conclusion of a treaty which would be in the best interests of all sides,” No.6 said in a statement.

“The Government thanks all negotiators on all sides for their continued efforts.”

“The Government remains optimistic that a treaty can be concluded which is safe, secure and beneficial for Gibraltar.”

The Government of Gibraltar was represented in the two-day London talks by Attorney General Michael Llamas, who was assisted by the Director of Gibraltar House in Brussels, Daniel D’Amato.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia attended virtually.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article wrongly referred to the Spanish Foreign Minister as Jose Manuel Margallo. He is, of course, Jose Manuel Albares, and the article has been corrected.

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