Spain has given a 72-hour ultimatum to the UK to reach an agreement and avoid a “hard Brexit” in Gibraltar. According to the Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, “there is no plan B” to avoid a “hard border” between Spain and the Rock if a compromise is not reached before midnight on December 31, when the break between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
The Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, has insisted that the Spanish Government is even willing to lift the Gate and facilitate free movement on the border, but has warned that if there is no agreement on December 31 at midnight, The British colony will be the only place in the entire European Union where a hard Brexit is imposed, with the consequences that this would entail.
“There is no plan B. I mean, here’s what o an agreement between the UK and Spain o an external border of the European Union. There is no plan B “said the minister.
Gibraltar, outside the post-Brexit deal between the EU and the UK
Gibraltar was explicitly left out of the post-Brexit deal reached last week between the European Union and the United Kingdom, implying that the future of the Rock depends on the ongoing negotiations between Madrid and London.
The Spanish minister stirred up the specter of monstrous traffic jams at the border, such as those experienced last week in Dover, if a compromise is not reached.
“One of the possible consequences of the lack of agreement to manage mobility between Gibraltar and Campo de Gibraltar is that queues form and practical difficulties are created such as those we have seen in Dover in recent days”he pointed.
The consequences of a hard Brexit in Gibraltar
Because in the event of a hard Brexit, Spain should establish police, phytosanitary and security controls on the more than 200 trucks that every day go from one side to the other. Added to this is the fact that all citizens, except the 15,000 cross-border workers, would need a visa in the passport to cross.
Furthermore, Gibraltarians would no longer have access to Spanish Social Security and would be left outside of European airspace.
The consequences would also be dire for neighboring Spanish municipalities, whose economy largely depends on relations with the Rock.
The main obstacle to an agreement seems to be the control of passengers at the Gibraltar port and airport. Spain claims that it be left in charge of the European border agency Frontex, which would depend on and report directly to the Spanish authorities.