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Spanish Senate approves motion on Gibraltar and Brexit

The Foreign Affairs Commission of the Spanish Senate yesterday approved a motion highlighting the need to protect the interests of cross-border workers in the face of Brexit, even as it set out Spain’s traditional position on Gibraltar’s sovereignty.

The PP spokesman in the commission, Carlos Aragonés Mendiguchía, said the motion sought a consensus position on Gibraltar in the Spanish parliament against the backdrop of the UK’s exit from the EU.

He said the text focused on “coexistence and the rule of law [in relations with Gibraltar], but also sovereignty”, adding that Brexit gave Spain “unprecedented negotiating leverage”.

The motion urged the Spanish Government to negotiate a “bilateral agreement” with the UK on the application to Gibraltar of the Brexit transition period “…in the terms most favourable to Spanish interests and in particular those of the inhabitants of the Campo de Gibraltar.”

It acknowledged the joint sovereignty proposal presented by Spain in 2016 at the UN – and rejected by Gibraltar – but further urged Madrid to “advance toward a bilateral understanding” with the UK on the issue of sovereignty in line with the Lisbon declaration of 1980, the Brussels agreement of 1984 and the joint sovereignty agreement of 2002.

The text also called for “…joint management of the airport situated on the isthmus, above all the entrances into the Schengen area of said airport.”

It further highlighted the importance to Spain of ensuring the EU remains united in the face of Brexit, not just for the sake of the bloc itself but also “in the interests of Spain’s objectives” on Gibraltar.


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