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Failure to reach Gib agreement ‘not an option’, Unite and CCOO tell negotiators

Jon Nazca/REUTERS

Unite the Union and Spanish union Comisiones Obreras have called on negotiators to reach an agreement for Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU, insisting it would be “unacceptable” if only the Rock faced a hard Brexit on December 31.

The unions made the call in a joint statement after the UK and the EU reached a deal on Christmas Eve that sets out a framework for their future relationship but excludes Gibraltar.

Talks for an agreement for Gibraltar are still ongoing.

The unions underscored the need for a deal that places the interests of citizens above any other consideration.

“Following the agreement reached between the European Union and the United Kingdom on Brexit, Unite the Union and Comisiones Obreras have reiterated the need for the negotiating process underway regarding Gibraltar to be concluded with an agreement, when there are a few days left until the deadline expires,” the statement said.

“Both unions have reiterated their conviction that ‘no agreement is not an option’, since a Brexit without an agreement on Gibraltar could have dire consequences for the citizens of the area.”

“The unions consider that it would not be acceptable for the Gibraltar border to be the only one in the European Union that suffers a hard Braxit, whose repercussions would be very negative for the economic development and employment in Gibraltar and the Campo Area.”

“In this respect, the unions have called on negotiators to be able to overcome differences and establish a framework of agreement in which the interests of the public prevail over any other interest.”

“Likewise, they consider that if the intelligence and disposition of the negotiators have made possible an agreement on the rights of cross-border workers, that same dynamic should serve to culminate a global agreement that will make shared prosperity a reality.”