UK/Gibraltar Brexit committee hold meeting in Gibraltar as prelude to technical talks with Spain

Joe Garcia

The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister met yesterday with senior officials from the Foreign Office and from the Department for Exiting the European Union for continuing discussions on matters relating to Brexit. The meeting was held at The Convent, said a statement. 

Given that the meeting was held at The Convent, and also the composition of the UK team, it is clear that foreign affairs were discussed.

In an exclusive report last week, we said that Britain and Spain are to hold technical talks on Gibraltar as decisions loom large on the Brexit horizon.

And we also said that the technical talks would be preceeded by “an imminent meeting in Gibraltar itself of the UK/Gibraltar transport inter-ministerial committee to consider the situation in situ.”

So, the meeting was with the UK/Gibraltar transport committee, and given that it was headed by senior foreign office officials it would seem that matters for the upcoming technical talks with Spain were considered.

Certainly, it was to do with the exiting of the UK and Gibraltar from the EU, with senior officials also here from the UK exiting the EU department, pointing at matters that would arise at the frontier in relation to Brexit.

The Spanish Government appears to be somewhat ambivalent as to the frontier issue. Clearly, their priority is to safeguard the thousands of Spanish workers in Gibraltar, while being less specific about other questions affecting frontier traffic.

The Gibraltar Government is on record as saying that frontier flow must be fluid for all traffic and not only Spanish frontier workers, as anything else would be unacceptable.

The joint Gibraltar/Campo group have also been urging that business matters must not be negatively affected by any Spanish impositions.

In Madrid this week at the PSOE headquarters, Campo representatives and others held a meeting and took the view that fluidity in the border was the best guarantee for job continuity for the Spanish workers, and demands were made for Rajoy to make Brexit assurances regarding the Campo area, where there is concern not only about the fate of frontier workers but also of business matters which could have serious repercussions across the frontier if overall fluidity was not forthcoming.