Cordoba agreement has already cost Gibraltar over £150 million

In yesterday’s article by Joe Garcia on the proposed airport deal, he said he had asked the following question to the Gibraltar Government:

 Should not the Government stop defending the Cordoba agreement given that (a) it was abandoned by Spain when it suited them; (b) it is now out of date as it is no longer recognition by Spain of our EU rights (which they never honoured), and (c) what is now under discussion is Gibraltar’s exit from the EU.

The answer from the Government has now arrived, and it is as follows:

“The Cordoba Agreement was entered into in 2006 by the GSD administration in Gibraltar together with the then Governments of the United Kingdom and Spain. Therefore if anyone has to defend Cordoba it should be those who concluded it, and that means the GSD.

“The Government has no intention of defending Cordoba. It is not our place to do so. We simply inherited the commitments that it contains.

“It will be recalled that, once concluded, the Cordoba Agreement was fully implemented by Gibraltar and brought into effect by the previous administration with the building of the new airport terminal adjacent to the frontier fence and the excavation of the tunnel under the runway. An interim solution was found to allow passengers travelling to and from Spain to access the terminal in sealed buses.


“The implementation of Cordoba by the GSD Government has therefore already cost the people of Gibraltar in excess of £150,000,000.00. It cost the UK taxpayer millions of pounds too, given that the United Kingdom Government decided to fulfil its obligations in respect of matters which were their responsibility, including the continued payment of pensions to former Spanish workers in Gibraltar.

“In the past seven years since 2011, successive Governments of Gibraltar and the Opposition have criticised the failure of Spain to honour its commitments as set out in Cordoba. This has included the lengthy process of lobbying in Europe on this subject where we have repeatedly pointed out the Spanish failure to comply with their Cordoba obligations.

“It is correct to say that the decision taken ten years after Cordoba that the United Kingdom and Gibraltar should leave the European Union has changed the dynamics of the situation. The relevance of this can only be fully assessed once the exact terms of our departure are known.


“The Prime Minister has made it clear that the United Kingdom Government is negotiating our departure from the European Union as the Member State responsible before Brussels. The same is the case for the Devolved Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man and the other UK Overseas Territories that currently enjoy a relationship with the European Union which will have to be redefined.

“In each case the issues are very different. We know that there are border issues to be discussed with Cyprus (Sovereign Bases), the Republic of Ireland (Northern Ireland), Spain (Gibraltar) and with France/The Netherlands (Anguilla). There are challenges posed by the threat to EU funding, fishing rights, agricultural products and in many other areas.

“In these discussions with different Member States, it is obvious that there will be more to discuss with next door neighbours than with other more distant countries, although Gibraltar issues have been or will be raised with a number of different Member States and not only with Spain.

“The Government of Gibraltar has stated many times that it is prepared to engage in constructive, technical discussions with all relevant parties, including Spain, as we prepare to leave the European Union in order to achieve a sensible, an orderly and a well-managed Brexit which is in all our interests.”