ROCK DEAL: Britain and Spain reach tax treaty for Gibraltar, first such agreement since 1713

Image - El Calpe: Andrzej Kubik/shutterstock

SPANISH and British officials have signed a treaty covering taxes and finances in Gibraltar, the first agreement of its kind since the one which handed the enclave to Britain.

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell and Britain’s Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington signed the agreement on Monday. It covers arrangements for the British enclave after Brexit.

It will stop Gibraltar undercutting Spanish tax rates and curb payment fraud if approval by Spain’s Council of Ministers and Parliament, Spanish Foreign Ministry sources said.

Borrell said the agreement had involved a lot of work due to it covering sensitive issues and their being many issues at stake.

The treaty is the first to be signed between London and Madrid on Gibraltar since 1713’s Treaty of Utrecht which handed the British control of The Rock.

Its signing comes as Madrid and London became involved in a separate diplomatic spat over the exclusion of Gibraltar’s airport from no-deal Brexit contingency plans.

British officials were reportedly concerned that EU documents referring to those arrangements did include references to Spain’s claim to the ‘isthmus’ on which the airport is built.

The isthmus is the roughly 800 metre strip of land which connects Gibraltar with the Spanish mainland. It was not included in the Treaty of Utrecht and has been disputed ever since.

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Joe Gerrard

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