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Gibraltar border must be central to any Brexit agreement, says MEP Ashley Fox

Friday, September 30th 2016 - 10:57 UTC
Full article 8 comments

The Conservative Leader and Gibraltar MEP Ashley Fox is to tell the new Secretary for Exiting the European Union that Gibraltar and its border with Spain must be central to any new agreement with the EU. Read full article

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  • ChrisR

    Never underestimate the stupidity of Spanish politicians and their ability to cut off their heads to spoil their bodies (I am sure you get the drift).

    Sep 30th, 2016 - 05:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • lsolde

    That must be where the Argentines get it from, Chris.

    Sep 30th, 2016 - 08:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    Yes, Im sure Gib will be way up the list of priorities.

    Just as it was during the referendum, for the folks of uk.

    Oct 02nd, 2016 - 10:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • sceptic64

    #3 is right on this one - it actually depends what government there is at th etime in Spain.

    If it is the PP, especially with a dinosaur like Margallo, then Spain will be pushing for Gibraltar to be excluded not only from trade arrangements, any passporting agreement - now that 'Hard Brexit' is clearly the choice - but from any visa-free travel agreement.

    If it is not, then something more logical will be agreed: the local Spanish authorities - even the PP around here - are seriously opposed to Margallo's view of the world.

    The final agreement will not take Gibraltar into account and there's a good chance of economic damage and isolation. However, this isn't the '60s and contingency plans are in place: a more globalised world raises other options.

    Either way

    Oct 03rd, 2016 - 07:25 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    @1. I'm not sure that “freedom of movement” across the frontier with spain is a good idea. I'm equally sure that Mr Picardo has his reasons and has explained them to the British government. But are they good for Gibraltar in the long run?

    Remember history. An Anglo-Dutch force took Gibraltar from the spanish in 1704, the major part of the force being English. Remembering that English and British interest has always primarily been trade, it was a very positive step and even reigned in the Moors of the Barbary Coast. Britain's position was confirmed in 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht when Gibraltar was ceded “in perpetuity”. This factor should not be underestimated. Despite its attempts to use clauses in the Treaty of Utrecht to justify its actions, spain has breached that Treaty, counting sieges alone, no less than 14 times. Next, we can look at spain's failure to comply with the various versions of UNCLOS. For example, the “cannon shot” rule applied to “territorial” waters for many years. The unfortunate point being that there had to be an actual cannon at the relevant point on a coastline. Spain insists that Gibraltar has no territorial waters except within the Port of Gibraltar. It quotes the Treaty of Utrecht. But then, surely, spain has few “territorial” waters? It “claims” them on the basis of UNCLOS. Thus displaying spain's hypocrisy toward Gibraltar. With its colonies of Ceuta and Melilla, is it possible, in this enlightened age, that spain might want to be in a position to close the entrance to the Mediterranean at its whim? There's the long-held wishes of the people of Gibraltar. That spain resolutely ignores, except for sending in the Cervantes Institute and declining to take the matter to the ICJ.

    This is the country that Mr Picardo wants to maintain an open frontier with? And with around 12,000 people crossing the frontier every day to work in Gibraltar, what part of the Campo survives by leeching Gibraltar's wealth?

    Oct 03rd, 2016 - 08:03 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 5 Conqueror

    Excellent synopsis of the situation, however I see the 12,000 Spanish workers (not enough Gibraltarians it seems) as earning their money and providing the businesses they work for with profits thus aiding Gibraltar.

    The earnings money is then spent in Spain and I am sure that even the most stupid of local Spanish politicians does not want that to stop as it will if Spain closed the border.

    Oct 03rd, 2016 - 10:27 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • sceptic64

    #5: Economically the open border makes sense to both sides.

    Gibraltar is very small geographically, but has a population of 32,000. It also provides 25,000 full-time jobs - far more than we have people. Therefore there are a lot of x-border workers (9-10,000, not 12k ).

    Internally, we can't provide housing for all of these people. Nor do many of them actually want to live somewhere so crowded - people like a bit of space. The lifestyle in southern Spain is desirable to a lot of people from northern and eastern Europe - but not in Gibraltar, which is crowded and expensive (high demand, low supply, so housing costs are near 3x what they are in Spain and no equivalent 'house with garden and pool' available).

    However without this workforce Gib's economy would not be able to function, so the relationship is symbiotic.

    Gibraltar gains - a profitable, well-staffed economy; tax receipts from business and from those living in Spain.

    Spain gains - employment in a high-unemployment area; tax receipts from those working in Gib and living in Spain; general expenditure of those living in Spain. Remember - virtually all their disposable income goes there.

    It is estimated that 25% of the GDP of the Campo area comes directly from Gibraltar.

    A closed border would stop that, as well as devastating business over here (temporarily).

    But that is not Margallo's concern as he's obsessed.

    Sadly for him, even if he does that, it won't achieve his goal. We'll just go on, forging closer links with Portugal and Morocco, and with a temporarily depressed economy.

    But we'll still be British.

    Oct 03rd, 2016 - 01:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    Not to disagree with ALL of above comments, but there is one scenario which is conveniently always ignored.
    And that is what happens to the symbiotic relationship when unemployment in Algeciras reduces.
    Spain's a € trillion economy. Don't think it can't happen.

    (Look up the road to Malaga. Look to the Costas.)

    A relaxed policy is good, for now. It benefits Spain, for now.

    Oct 04th, 2016 - 01:47 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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