Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar notes that the European Union has not yet finalised a mandate for the negotiation between it and the United Kingdom in respect of a proposed Treaty in respect of Gibraltar.
The governments of the United Kingdom, Spain and Gibraltar had all expressed the wish to see the Treaty proposed in the New Year’s Eve Framework Agreement translated into a final UK / EU agreement by the end June.
That has not been possible.
The Government of Gibraltar, for its part, respects the fact that the European Commission has needed time to prepare a mandate, given that the matters raised in the Framework are complex in their interaction with parts of the EU acquis and the many other matters which have affected the Commission and Government’s around the world in the past six months.
This delay does not, however, in any way blunt the Government’s enthusiasm for the negotiation of the proposed Treaty.
The Chief Minister of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: ‘The delay in the emergence of an EU Commission mandate does not make us any less enthusiastic or optimistic about the chances of a positive Treaty on Gibraltar being finalised between the UK and the EU. We will continue to work towards a successful final outcome of this. We nonetheless must all realise that when the mandate does emerge, it will be the EU’s opening position. It will not be the Treaty itself. As an opening position, it will contain the EU’s initial approach to the Treaty. Insofar as we do not like or agree with aspects of it, we will work to negotiate a final position in the final Treaty that is acceptable. To an extent, what we will all have to keep in mind is that all that will endure is what the final Treaty looks like and what it says and not when or what the mandate from the EU provides for. We have long experience over different governments of having to take the EU on in respect of some of aspects of its approach to Gibraltar, and we will not be afraid of doing so now. In any event, and despite our continued optimism, we will continue to plan for all eventualities, as it is only prudent that we should and as the Deputy Chief Minister and UK Minister for the European Neighbourhood, Hon Wendy Morton MP did earlier this. week.’