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Cross Frontier Group reviews latest developments in first meeting under new chairman

Johnny Bugeja

The latest Covid-19 restrictions and their effect on movement at the frontier were at the heart of the first Cross Frontier Group meeting led by its new chairman, Michael Netto.

Members welcomed the clarification from Spain’s Ministry of the Interior that the border between Gibraltar and Spain will not be affected.

In a statement, the Cross Frontier Group said the new measures announced both in Gibraltar and Spain are understandable given the continuing situation with the virus.

Brexit was also discussed during the virtual meeting and the Cross Frontier Group welcomed statements made by the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, and the Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, in a recent article published by the Financial Times.

“It takes heart that it seems that they have both taken note of the Group’s declaration of October 16, which stated that in the Group’s opinion a ‘No Deal’ [Brexit] is not an option,” the Group said.

“And that all the parties are working towards agreements that are positive for all concerned and that will make the things that matter for the everyday life of citizens of Gibraltar and the Campo smoother and simpler than a no deal scenario.”

The Group once again underscored that any Brexit negotiations result in agreements that allow a continued and an improvement in the economic, social and cultural relations between both communities.

It hoped that the new framework provides for the future economic development and cooperation between Gibraltar and the Campo.

The Cross Frontier Group said: “An essential element for this is guaranteed long term mechanisms that ensure frontier fluidity for all that in turn will allow cross-frontier socio economic activity.”

“During these delicate times, the Cross Frontier Group undertakes, in line with its current strategy, to pursue contacts with institutions and politicians on both sides of

the frontier with the aim of establishing future socioeconomic and cultural relations between both communities.”