What’s the latest on the Gibraltar Brexit deal?
Since the UK officially left the EU last December, Gibraltar has been a source of contention, but what is the latest on a post-Brexit deal for the overseas territory?
Tensions between the UK and the EU have been high in recent months as the two continue to negotiate terms for Gibraltar’s post-Brexit future.
The EU enraged the UK earlier this year when it threatened to deviate from a deal reached between Spain and the UK. So, what is the current situation, and how close are we to a deal?
When the United Kingdom left the European Union on December 31, 2016, it raised a number of questions about the country’s future relationship with the bloc.
One of these was how Gibraltar’s post-Brexit future would be shaped.
This website explains what agreements and discussions have occurred thus far, as well as what the likely outcome will be.
Last year, on New Year’s Eve, the final day before the UK left the EU, the UK and Spain reached an agreement to keep people free to travel to and from Gibraltar.
To avoid a hard border, Gibraltar agreed to join the Schengen zone of the European Union and adhere to other EU rules while remaining a British overseas territory.
The EU would also send Frontex border guards to facilitate free movement to and from Gibraltar as part of the agreement.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex, is a European Union agency in charge of border control in the Schengen area.
The deal between the UK and Spain must, however, be codified in a UK-EU treaty before it can become final.
The European Commission enraged the United Kingdom in July when it published draft guidelines that differed from the original UK-Spain agreement.
The changes implied that Spanish border authorities, rather than Frontex, would be stationed in Gibraltar, which the United Kingdom opposes.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said at the time that it would “undermine the UK’s sovereignty over Gibraltar.”
The European Commission was said to be concerned about the precedents that a deal like this could set elsewhere, such as in Northern Ireland.
Following a meeting of EU ambassadors last month, the Bloc agreed to drop its proposal and instead propose that Frontex border guards be stationed at Gibraltar’s port.
“Brinkwire News Summary.”