THERE is a certain irony in the fact that although Gibraltarian voters almost unanimously voted against Brexit, they could actually face the UK’s toughest border restrictions.
The UK Brexit deal did not include Gibraltar and despite the sudden rise in Covid-19 infections in both Gibraltar and Britain, negotiations still continue in the hope that some deal can be agreed at the last minute.
Whilst not giving up its demands for sovereignty over the Rock, the Spanish Government has indicated that it wants to achieve a fair and equitable settlement and yesterday (December 30) it was reported by GBC News that Spain has extended rights to British Citizens included in the Withdrawal agreement to Gibraltarians until June 30, 2021 as part of a no-deal mitigation.
The rights are reciprocal with Gibraltar having published a host of mitigations by regulation this month and the Spanish decree extends to Gibraltarians all workers’ rights as well as the right to free health care in Spain. Driving licences will also be recognised until the 30th of June.
Despite the fact that the Government has asked all Gibraltarians to stay at home, not mix and has cancelled the late curfew originally promised on New Year’s Eve, the border crossing for cars was completely inundated on Wednesday January 30, but by midday today, January 31 had dropped from six clogged lanes to two with waiting time around 10 minutes.
With no restaurants or bars open in Gibraltar on New Year’s Eve and only virtual celebrations taking place on TV, there may be a temptation for those with second homes to cross into Spain for the night.
Thank you for taking the time to read this news article “Spain extends Brexit rights to Gibraltarians on a temporary basis”.