Gibraltar could be forced to follow Spain’s lead on hated EU rules
Gibraltar: Ship carrying diesel lays half-submerged after collision
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Talks between the UK, Spain, and the EU have been ongoing for nearly a year before the latest talks.
Picardo said he would be uncomfortable to accept EU regulation on more areas than before Brexit.
He told GBC: “We’re going to go into a relatonship with the European Union, which means that the EU’s areas of regulation may apply in certain aspects of what we do in Gibraltar.
“One of the areas that we will be dealing with is goods. Some of you may be familiar that to get the border because you have no control of the accessing of goods from the EU to Gibraltar or from Gibraltar into the EU.”
In the past, Gibratar has sold duty-free products that are not aligned with Customs Union prices.
However, the new treaty removes this frontier, which would create unequal price differences with Gibraltar’s EU neighbour Spain.
Picardo said: “In the context of how we regular immigration we have to do it in a way that is agreed with our Schengen partners.
“They need to have confidence in our immigration and we have confidence in their immigration instead of causing each other problems.”
Gibraltar, voted to stay in the EU during the referendum.
The ongoing diplomatic dispute has caused anxiety for the 32,000 people who live there.
One resident told the i: “Everyone is worried about whether they are going to be able to cope after a deal is done. The anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen just adds to our distress. It has been going on for two years now. For many people, their livelihoods depend on the outcome of this deal.”
Another resident who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “A lot of people here don’t want to talk about the deal because it is so sensitive and also complex,” said a Gibraltarian, who did not want to be named. People just want a deal but they want it to be fair to all sides.”
Despite the tensions, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, praised the UK for how it was dealing with the treaty negotiations: “I see a constructive spirit from the British side on the agreement related to Gibraltar,” Mr Albares told Reuters in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“I think we are very close to the deal. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, but from the meetings I had with [British Foreign Secretary] James Cleverly I see that we both want the agreement and are really working on it.”
He added: ““My experience with Brexit is that any timetable has never been respected,.”
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are working intensively to conclude an agreement that can help secure future prosperity for Gibraltar and the region.
“The UK remains steadfast in our support for Gibraltar and will not agree to anything that compromises sovereignty.”
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