Spain to maintain Gibraltar veto right in new Brexit deal

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Spain will maintain its veto right over Gibraltar in the new draft Brexit deal announced by the United Kingdom and the European Union on Thursday.

The arrangements secured a year ago by Spain regarding the British overseas territory, located in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, remain intact according to both EU and Spanish government sources.

According to these arrangements, any future agreements on the relationship between the UK and the EU will only apply to Gibraltar if both London and Madrid agree to them. Spain will continue to have veto rights, as stated in the political declaration that came with the earlier withdrawal agreement, and which is not being modified in this most recent draft deal.

Another major issue in bilateral relations – the rights of the 360,000 British nationals living in Spain and 180,000 Spaniards residing in the UK – also remains unchanged. Spain is home to the largest British community outside the UK, and if the new Brexit deal is ratified, all European residents in Britain will preserve their rights while Britons living in the EU will keep theirs. The withdrawal agreement protects access to healthcare, education and work permits, among other advantages.

 

If the new withdrawal agreement is ratified, there will be no need for Madrid to activate a contingency plan it approved in March to prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

 

Also left untouched are four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed in November 2018 addressing the rights of cross border workers (more than 9,000 Spaniards cross into Gibraltar every day), the price of tobacco products in Gibraltar, environmental issues, and cooperation on police and border matters. Still pending is a tax treaty to end unfair competition from Gibraltar, which offers very advantageous conditions for registered businesses.

 

Via El Pais

 

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