The Junta de Andalucia must have an equal status to Gibraltar in any UK/Spain talks in which the British Overseas Territory participates, Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo declared at a press conference following a meeting with Junta president Susana Diaz.
It was agreed with the Junta that this would happen where the talks relate to the regional government’s competences such as environment and fishing. Garcia-Margallo declared that the talks would have to be “either under two flags, UK and Spain, or, if that is extended, with the Junta participating with the standing as Gibraltar.”
The Spanish Foreign Minister was in Seville to discuss a number of issues with the Junta including relations with Morocco. The Junta called for an easing on frontier controls with Gibraltar.
He said that as the issues arise it will be decide which party deals with the issue and “who is seated at the table” in these “ad hoc” talks.
García-Margallo said that he had taken on board the concerns expressed by the Junta on the impact of border controls on the thousands of Spaniards who cross daily to work on the Rock. He also agreed with the view that it was in the interests of both sides to create employment.
At a briefing the Junta presidency spokesman Manuel Jimenez Barrios stressed that the Junta will not involve itself in any matters of sovereignty but that it is prepared to participate in any discussion on matters which are its competence.
Ms Diaz said that she was concerned for the 7,000 works mainly from La Linea who work in Gibraltar and urged Garcia-Margallo to ease on the border controls. The meeting lasted an hour and took place at the Palacio de San Telmo.