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Picardo and Garcia in Madrid for ‘technical and practical’ treaty talks

People cross the border from Gibraltar into Spain. Ensuring border fluidity is a key aim of the treaty negotiations. Photo by Johnny Bugeja

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia were in Madrid on Wednesday for “technical and practical” discussions related to the negotiation for a UK/EU treaty on Gibraltar’s post-Brexit relations with the bloc.

No.6 Convent Place said the two left for Madrid in the early hours of the morning but did not offer any further details on who they were meeting or the nature of the discussions.

“The Government remains fully committed to secure a safe and secure treaty for Gibraltar in line with the New Year’s Eve Agreement that avoids any party having to cede on fundamentals,” No.6 said in a short statement.

The Madrid meeting comes after last week’s two-day formal negotiating round between the UK – with Gibraltar – and the EU in London.

In the run-up to that round, there had been wide anticipation that negotiators might be able to reach an in-principle agreement before Christmas, if not a finalised treaty text.

“I'm very pleased to have seen the tenor of the talks and the progress that I'm seeing,” Mr Picardo told the Chronicle at the time.

“And I know that from all four relevant sides we could not be working harder to achieve agreement as soon as possible.”

Mr Picardo would not be drawn on any specific timeline.

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