By John Smith •
Published: 05 Dec 2023 • 13:46
Scene from Table Top Exercise
Credit: Gibraltar Government
Despite severe provocation from Spanish Border officers who have been refusing entry to Spain for certain Gibraltar residents, talks over the treaty have started again.
On Monday December 4, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia travelled to Malaga Capital to meet representatives of Spain and the UK in order to continue discussions on the status of the border.
There had been a significant hiatus in communication caused by elections in Gibraltar and Spain and now that Governments have been confirmed in both countries, talks are able to start again although it is expected that they will continue for some time.
It should be remembered however that the British Government has made it clear that no treaty can be signed unless it received the support of the people and Government of Gibraltar.
Prior to this meeting in Spain, Joseph Garcia chaired what is referred to as a ‘Table Top Exercise’ in Gibraltar to discuss the actions open to the government in the event that the parties are unable to conclude a treaty and end up with a Non Negotiated Outcome (NNO).
The exercise involved departments, agencies and authorities of the Government of Gibraltar, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defence.
On this occasion, it was considered prudent that representatives of the private sector were also included, these being the Chamber of Commerce, the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses, the Finance Centre Council and the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association.
Whilst it is still the wish of the Government of Gibraltar that a treaty based on that agreed in principle between the parties on January 31, 2020, there is still no formal agreement so the parties have no option but to prepare for all eventualities.
Commenting on this meeting, Garcia said: “I want to thank the different entities who took part, the United Kingdom Government for their support and in particular the representatives of the private sector for their invaluable contribution.”
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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