Britain forbids Gibraltar to negotiate with EU over free movement at Spanish border

Gibraltar's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has announced that "Gibraltar is ready to relax lockdown restrictions from next month". Credit: HM Government of Gibraltar

THERE seems to be some confusion between Gibraltar and the UK after Chief Minister Fabian Picardo gave an interview in which it appeared that he was looking for Gibraltar to join Schengen following Brexit.

There was a response from a UK Government spokesman (according to the BBC) saying that this was not possible and that any arrangement would have to be part of the UK-EU talks on future relations with the European Union.

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Since then, Mr Picardo has explained that he wasn’t looking for Gibraltar to join Schengen but hoped that there would be a chance for it to be treated as a special case like Liechtenstein which is in Schengen but not in the EU.

Of the current 28 States in the EU, just six, including the UK are not part of Schengen which is an agreement which allows free movement between Schengen members without the need to show passports or obtain visas (except in times of emergency).

As Gibraltar employs so many Spaniards and expatriates who live in Spain, any delay at the border could be harmful not only to the economy of Gibraltar (which also sees large numbers of tourists entering across the land border) but also to the local Spanish towns such as La Linea de la Concepcion, Alcaidesa and San Roque who rely on workers income.

It would appear that Northern Ireland will receive special treatment as far as cross border movement with its neighbour the Republic and Gibraltar is anxious to see as little disruption with movement into Spain as possible.


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