The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo KC MP today joined a meeting being held in Madrid between Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares. The Chief Minister joined via videolink from Gibraltar for the part of the meeting that related to issues pertaining to the UK/EU negotiation in respect of Gibraltar.
The Ministers confirmed their shared objective of achieving the agreement of a UK-EU Treaty in respect of Gibraltar based on the December 2020 Political Framework.
They reflected on the excellent progress made in discussions between the UK and the EU, as well as the very positive outcome of related discussions between the UK, Spain and Gibraltar for the implementation of the proposed UK/EU Treaty.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Hon Dr Joseph Garcia CMG MP, and the Attorney General, Michael Llamas CMG KC, also joined the meeting with the Chief Minister. Mr Llamas had just returned from the most recent round of UK/EU talks in Brussels, which the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister had also attended virtually.
The Chief Minister reiterated the view of the Gibraltar Government that a UK/EU Treaty can promote unprecedented economic growth in Gibraltar and the region of the Campo de Gibraltar, generating unparalleled wealth for people on both sides of the frontier. He highlighted work being undertaken by the Gibraltar Government on how to further develop Gibraltar’s economy in light of the potential UK/EU Treaty and the potential positive effect on the whole of the Campo also.
The Chief Minister thanked Foreign Secretary Cleverly and Foreign Minister Albares for their continued commitment to the process of seeking agreement and therefore confirmed the strong commitment also of His Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar to continuing negotiations to a final and successful conclusion of a beneficial, safe and secure UK/EU Treaty in relation to Gibraltar as early as possible in the new year.
The Chief Minister welcomed the excellent negotiating dynamic that was developing in the process of seeking to achieve comprehensive agreement and hoped that it would lead to less misunderstandings in the future, as well as potentially resolving both long standing issues and new problems that arise as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU.
In December 2020 the UK, with Gibraltar, and Spain agreed the Political Framework which provided the basis for treaty negotiations. Negotiations began in October 2021, once the EU had agreed its mandate. There have been eleven rounds since then, the most recent concluding on 14 December 2022.