Madrid, (EFE).-The Government and the European Commission have sent the United Kingdom a proposal for the Campo de Gibraltar to become a “zone of shared prosperity” that includes the removal of the Gibraltar fence in order to favor the mobility of people and goods between the colony and the EU.
This was announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, after a meeting held in Madrid with the main local and regional authorities with powers in the area to explain the scope of the negotiations between Spain and the Commission on Gibraltar, which are in a very advanced phase and which he has described as “positive”.
The objective of these talks, the minister stressed, is to establish a “new legal framework” after Brexit that “lays the foundations of a stable relationship between Spain and the EU on the one hand and the territory of Gibraltar, through the United Kingdom , for another”.
Full fluidity of people traffic
The proposal presented, added Albares, seeks to have “equivalent rules of the game on both sides” that allow “the prosperity of some not to be to the detriment of others” and includes provisions to facilitate mobility, with a view to suppressing the fence, so that a full flow of people traffic is achieved.
This implies, according to Foreign Affairs, that Spain starts to control, on behalf of Schengen, the external borders of Gibraltar and that, for this, it can exercise certain functions and powers, necessary to protect the integrity and security of this space.
The Spanish proposal includes the protection and improvement of the rights of workers and beneficiaries of social benefits in Gibraltar and guarantee, in customs matters, the freedom of movement of goods “without this increasing the risks for the internal market of the EU » and in particular for economic operators in the area in terms of unfair competition or illicit traffic, such as tobacco.
“fair” and “loyal” competition
This implies for Spain to exercise, on behalf of the EU, functions of control and protection of the internal market, when customs controls between Spain and Gibraltar disappear,
The text preserves the conditions of “fair and loyal” competition, so that economic operators in Gibraltar compete under conditions similar to those of other economic operators in the EU and, in particular, in the Campo area. of Gibraltar.
Provisions have also been included to combat money laundering and to guarantee standards of environmental protection and nuclear safety.
The objective is to establish guarantees, as Foreign Affairs has indicated, against potential environmental damage, as well as to avoid unfair economic competition and a financial mechanism for training and employment programs in the area.
The minister explained that the fundamental axis of the proposal is “the defense and protection of the interests and rights” of Spanish citizens, and very particularly, of the 270,000 who live in Campo de Gibraltar.
The Gibraltar gate, an eternal situation
He has hoped that the negotiations will conclude with a satisfactory agreement “as soon as possible” and has called on the United Kingdom to transfer whether it is willing to reach the agreement now because it cannot remain “forever in this situation.”
Lastly, Albares stressed that Spain’s position on sovereignty and jurisdiction in relation to Gibraltar remains unchanged.
“Neither the future agreement, nor any option or measure taken in application or as a result of it, imply or will imply any waiver or modification of the legal position of Spain with respect to sovereignty and jurisdiction in relation to Gibraltar,” he concluded. EFE