The draft of the negotiating mandate of the European Commission to regulate the borders after the ‘brexit’ irritates the minister Dominic Raab
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, and his British colleague, Dominic Raab, will today have the opportunity to exchange their views on the future treaty that will define the relationship of the European Union with Gibraltar, after the mandate to the community negotiators published by the Commission on Tuesday has been categorically rejected by Raab and the Government of Gibraltar.
The ‘Brexit’, rejected with an overwhelming majority by the population of Gibraltar, requires the establishment of new rules for the movement of people and goods between its territory and the Community, and the negotiating mandate drawn up by the Commission for subsequent approval describes border controls made by Spanish guards at the airport and the port of the Rock.
The main minister, Fabian Picardo, has warned that the document is preliminary and that what matters is the final agreement, and also that it includes unacceptable proposals. Minister Raab, an enthusiastic supporter of ‘Brexit’, affirms that the draft wants to “weaken the sovereignty of the United Kingdom over Gibraltar.” It also complains that it contradicts the framework agreement that the Spanish and British governments signed in 2020.
Albares and Raab will meet today in London, in a meeting planned by the former minister, Arancha González Laya, and which had been postponed in recent months. Since the beginning of the year, there has been no Spanish ambassador in the United Kingdom as a result of the former minister’s slowness in appointments and Spanish residents are suffering, coinciding with the ‘Brexit’, a monumental jam in the processing and renewal of documents at the Consulate .
The discomfort over the Commission’s draft is reflected by ‘The Times’ stating that “Spanish policemen will be sent to Gibraltar for the first time in more than 300 years”, referring to the date of the military takeover of the Rock. London and the Gibraltarian government hope that customs controls will be carried out by staff from the community border agency, Frontex. The United Kingdom has a border agreement with France in the English Channel, whereby agents from both countries carry out customs controls in both territories.
The publication of the negotiating mandate by the vice-presidency of the Commission coincides with the publication, today, Wednesday, of the British plan to modify the operation of the Irish Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement, which is also managed by the department of Maros Sefcovic. The new customs regime, also forced by Brexit, is causing disruption to trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.