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Mancomunidad wants ‘flexible and fluid’ border after Brexit

Spain must ensure a “flexible and fluid” border in the event of a hard Brexit, the Partido Popluar president of the Mancomunidad de Municipios said this week.
Luis Ángel Fernández, who as well as his Mancomunidad role is a senior councillor in Algeciras, said Spain’s co-sovereignty proposal would eliminate many of the challenges because Gibraltar would remain inside the EU.
But he added: “If Madrid’s plan does not work, there must be alternatives.”
“We are going to defend the politics of cooperation,” he said during a breakfast briefing organised by the Cádiz Business Confederation.
“We want a border that is as flexible as possible and with the best possible procedures for workers, companies and goods, even if the positions [in London and Brussels] are complex.”
He added: “We have to think of our workers to avoid catastrophic results and we need an agreement that envisages a flexible, humane frontier with the minimum procedures possible. Permeability is necessary.”
“Can such an agreement be reached? I don’t know, but it is what I am defending in the Mancomunidad.”
In a separate development yesterday, Spain’s Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, said he did not rule out seeing a Spanish Gibraltar in his lifetime.
He was asked whether such an outcome would be possible during a wide-ranging interview on Onda Cero.
“Why not? One can be surprised [by events],” he said.
“I honestly didn’t think that the Soviet Union would disintegrate, or that eastern European countries would regain their freedom.”
“I have seen a number of cases like this which I wasn’t expecting to see in my lifetime.”
“So I don’t exclude that I could see Gibraltar integrated into Spanish sovereignty.”
Gibraltar was mentioned just briefly during the interview, during which the minister was quizzed on his views on current affairs including Brexit.
He said the European Union had to start thinking about its future without the UK.
“We all wanted the United Kingdom to stay in the EU, but I don’t think it’s going to be a catastrophe,” he said.
“The European Union was born without the United Kingdom and will remain alive once it has gone.”
“The United Kingdom was never very comfortable in the European Union and now is an incentive for the European Union to recover that vigour.”
“It is a decision that was freely taken by the United Kingdom and it is one that we regret, but with which we will be perfectly able to live.”

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