The UK has rejected the EU’s proposed mandate for Gibraltar and says it forms no basis for negotiations.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has firmly rejected the EU’s madidate for Gibraltar, saying it forms no basis for negotiations and represents a threat to British sovereignty on the Rock.
“It seeks to undermine the UK’s sovereignty over Gibraltar, and cannot form a basis for negotiations,” Raab said on 20 July.
“We have consistently showed pragmatism and flexibility in the search for arrangements that work for all sides, and we are disappointed that this has not been reciprocated. We urge the EU to think again,” he added.
Spain’s Jose Manuel Albares is in London today, July 21, on his first visit there in his capacity as head of the Foreign Ministry.
The EU released its mandate on July 20.
“By putting forward this draft mandate, we are honouring the political commitment we made to Spain to start the negotiations of a separate agreement between the EU and the UK on Gibraltar. This is a detailed mandate, which aims to have a positive impact for those living and working on either side of the border between Spain and Gibraltar, while protecting the integrity of the Schengen Area and the Single Market,” said Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, the EU’s co-chair of the Joint Committee and Partnership Council.
Gibraltar was not included in the scope of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed between the EU and UK at the end of 2020.
According to the EU, the recommendation builds upon the “political understanding reached between Spain and the UK on December 31 last year. It is without prejudice to the issues of sovereignty and jurisdiction, and focuses on cooperation in the region.”
The proposed negotiating directives put forward “solutions to remove physical checks and controls on persons and goods at the land border between Spain and Gibraltar, while ensuring the integrity of the Schengen area and the Single Market” including rules establishing responsibility for asylum, returns, visas, residence permits, and operational police cooperation and information exchange.
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