Historic Gibraltar agreement just ‘weeks’ away

Historic Gibraltar agreement just 'weeks' away

UK and Spanish foreign secretaries: David Cameron and Jose Manuel Albares. Credit: jmalbares/X

Recent reports indicate that a final resolution between Spain and the UK on Gibraltar’s future could be just ‘weeks’ away.

On Friday, April 12, in Brussels, a pivotal discussion took place, marking a significant advance in the negotiations over Gibraltar, a territory that has been at the forefront of Brexit implications due to its position as a non-EU border with Spain.

Constructive Talks in Brussels

Jose Manuel Albares and David Cameron, the foreign ministers from Spain and the United Kingdom respectively, convened for over four hours in a historic meeting that also included EU Commissioner Maros Sefcovic and Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo.

This gathering, the first of its kind involving all four parties, was held with optimism by Albares who frequently emphasised, ‘Nothing is closed until everything is closed.’

Despite the absence of a definitive agreement, significant strides were made, with consensus reached on major policies concerning airports, freight, and mobility.

A UK Government press release announced: ‘Discussions took place in a constructive atmosphere, with significant progress achieved.

‘General political lines have been agreed, including on airport, goods and mobility. Negotiations will continue over the coming weeks to conclude the UK-EU Agreement.’

A milestone in diplomacy

Previously, the issue had been addressed in 18 technical meetings, but this was the first instance where such high-level diplomats were directly involved. The meeting underscored a coordinated effort between Spain and the EU, ensuring that future proposals would be joint ventures.

According to 20 Minutos, Albares, satisfied with the progress, noted, ‘There are already agreements on general political lines.’ He chose not to disclose further details in order to to safeguard the delicate state of negotiations.

‘The negotiation is at its peak and we want to protect it and bring it to a successful conclusion,’ Albares told reporters, indicating that a few weeks of intense efforts were still ahead.

Uncertain timelines and political calendars

No specific date has been set for the conclusion of these talks, even though the European elections loom just two months away, potentially complicating diplomatic engagements.

Albares expressed a desire for swift progress: ‘I would like it to be tomorrow, and for Spain it is not going to be as soon as possible.’

Despite the lack of a definitive timeline, the spirit of the meeting was one of commitment and anticipation for a pact that would ensure the prosperity and stability of the region, affecting the lives and livelihoods of its inhabitants.

The commitment from all parties to reach an agreement that promises legal certainty and continued prosperity for the region has set a constructive tone for the final stages of negotiation.

As the discussions enter their critical phase, Europe together with Spain and the UK remain fixed on what could be a historic resolution.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.