The Council of the European Union agreed to open formal negotiations with the United Kingdom regarding the geographical status and peculiarities of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, and on the southern coast of Spain.
In a press release issued by the Council on Tuesday 6 October, it was indicated that the same had decided to authorize negotiations with the British side, including the negotiation of directives relating to the issue of Gibraltar, which has not yet been fully resolved.
“The objective of the negotiations is to establish a broad and balanced agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom regarding Gibraltar in light of the special geographical situation and peculiarities of Gibraltar,” the press release notes.
After the UK formally left the European Union on December 31, 2020, the Gibraltar issue was not fully resolved, as the issue needed further talks and deals to be completed.
Previously, Spain proposed adding Gibraltar to the borderless Schengen area during the various meetings held between representatives of Britain and Gibraltar, in Madrid, in September 2020.
The idea was first proposed by Gibraltar President Fabian Picardo in January of the same year. However, the UK has not shown that it has any will to allow such a thing to happen.
A UK spokesperson ruled out the proposal, noting that the Gibraltar arrangement would be part of UK-EU talks on future relations.
“Following our departure, the UK will negotiate the future relationship with the EU on behalf of the entire UK family, including Gibraltar. Working closely together, the UK and Gibraltar governments have always supported the arrangements at the border with Spain, which enhance fluidity and prosperity The subscriber is in the area,” the spokesperson said.
After 11 hours of talks at the end of December 2020, an agreement was reached to avoid the difficult border between Gibraltar and Spain, allowing Gibraltar to become part of the Schengen area by moving border inspections to the port and airport of Gibraltar.
According to the agreement, the European Border Agency will support Frontex Gibraltar for border control for the first four years from the day the deal takes effect.
On 20 July this year, the EU Commission recommended that the Council authorize the opening of negotiations with the UK over Gibraltar, noting that “the contemplated agreement between the EU and the UK in relation to Gibraltar must not prejudice the issues of sovereignty and jurisdiction”.