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Commission confirms ‘technical fact-finding visit’ to border this week

Technical experts from the European Commission will visit Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar on Tuesday and Wednesday to see both sides of the border and get a better understanding of how it operates.

The visit was confirmed by the European Commission following reports this weekend in the Spanish press.

“The visit takes place upon invitation of the Spanish and UK authorities in the context of the ongoing EU-UK negotiations in respect of Gibraltar,” a European Commission official told the Chronicle.

“It is a technical fact finding visit that should allow experts to get a better understanding of the region.”

“The Commission team comprises customs and home affairs experts, as well as representatives of the Secretariat-General.”

Negotiators from the UK, together with representatives of the Gibraltar Government, and the Euopean Commission have already held four rounds of negotiations for a UK-EU treaty on the Rock’s post-Brexit relations with the bloc.

The last round was held in London in December and the next round in Brussels is planned for the week commencing January 28, although the date has yet to be confirmed.

Speaking after the Spanish press reports and the Commission’s confirmation to this newspaper, the Gibraltar Government also confirmed the visit.

“This visit has come about as a consequence of the ongoing negotiations for the future relationship of Gibraltar with the European Union,” N0.6 Convent Place said.

“It is hoped that experiencing the area at first hand will provide a better understanding of its unique nature to all concerned.”

“The visit will also provide the opportunity for the United Kingdom and Gibraltar to continue their internal discussions before the next negotiating round as well as for subsequent engagement with Spain which is ongoing and at different levels.”

“The Government remains fully committed to an agreement on the future relationship based on framework agreed together with the UK and Spain on 31 December 2020.”

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