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Fresh round of talks in Madrid on Gib’s post-Brexit future

Jon Nazca/REUTERS

A second round of formal talks between Gibraltar, the UK and Spain on the Rock’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU took place on Thursday.

The meeting, which had not been announced beforehand, was hosted by the Spanish Government in Madrid.

The discussion focussed on those areas of the UK-EU future relationship that are relevant to Gibraltar, including the mobility of persons in the region and continued access to provide cross-border services, No.6 Convent Place said in a short statement.

“This second round of meetings has been positive,” the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said in the statement.

“On my return to Gibraltar I will brief Cabinet colleagues and the Leader of the Opposition and Ms Hassan Nahon on the matters discussed and the areas of potential agreement and obvious disagreement.”

The Gibraltar delegation was led by the Chief Minister and included the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, the Attorney General Michael Llamas and the Director of Gibraltar House in Brussels, Daniel D’Amato.

The UK, Spain and Gibraltar agreed to meet again in the coming weeks and reaffirmed the intention to work positively for the benefit of citizens on all sides, No.6 added.

In a statement, the Spanish Government said the discussions had focused on a range of issues.

Although it described the meeting as being between the U.K. and Spain, the statement acknowledged that alongside officials from the Foreign Office and No.10 Downing Street, a delegation from Gibraltar led by the Chief Minister had also participated.

The Spanish delegation included officials from a range of ministries.

“The conversations have as a priority the well-being of citizens and workers and cover a wide variety of issues that must be resolved in order to achieve a strong, healthy and balanced relationship in the Campo de Gibraltar including mobility of people and workers, transport, goods and services, police and customs, environment, tax and other level playing field provisions,” the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs said in the statement.

The statement added that on Friday, a meeting in London would discuss issues relating to defence and security.

The U.K. Government said the discussions were constructive.

“The discussion focussed on those areas of the UK-EU future relationship that are relevant to Gibraltar, including the mobility of persons in the region and continued access to provide cross-border services,” the Foreign, Commonwealth a d Development Office said in a statement.

“The UK Government has always been clear that Gibraltar is an integral part of our negotiations with the EU and we continue to seek outcomes which support Gibraltar’s interests.”

“The UK, Spain and Gibraltar have agreed to meet again soon and reaffirmed their intention to work constructively and positively to deliver their shared priority of continued well-being and prosperity of people in the region.”