Gibraltar to refuse post-Brexit trade deal giving Spanish control

Published:  27 Dec at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, UK, Canada, England
Gibraltar’s chief minister has stated unequivocally the Rock won’t sign any EU trade deal giving Spain control.

Adopting the same stance as is Scotland, Gibraltar will not be trapped into conceding control to Spain by signing a post-Brexit trade deal. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo is now making it very clear he’s prepared to walk away from any deal signed by the UK which might finally give control over the Rock to Spain. In the 2016 Brexit referendum, some 96 per cent of Gibraltarians voted to stay in the EU.

Picardo is making Gibraltar’s take on Brexit very clear, definitively stating the Rock has the option of refusing to sign any future trade agreement which includes few advantages and many obligations. Even should any deal include a privileged financial services agreement allowing passporting into the EU, Picardo has promised to walk away should other aspects of the deal allow Spain to take over. The row over who owns Gibraltar has been a focal point for British expats and local residents on the Rock for decades.

Picardo’s seemingly immovable position on the contents of a trade deal comes following the Spanish Secretary of State’s comment that Spain will finally get its way as regards Gibraltar as a result of a post-Brexit free trade deal. Picardo’s response rests on a generally understood right of veto over any EU international agreements with so-called ‘third countries’. He added leaving the bloc with all the challenges this represents isn’t Gibraltar’s choice but, by leaving along with the UK on 31st January, the Rock will have the same year-long transition period as the UK.
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