The European Union is expected to support Spain’s claim to Gibraltar, and to give Madrid the authority to exclude “The Rock” from the post-Brexit deal.
The European Union plans to give Spain the ability to “exclude” Britain’s Gibraltar from any deal with the European Union, after the “Brexit”.
According to reports, the European Union is expected to give British Prime Minister Boris Johnson the option to hand the territory over to Spain or exclude it from any trade agreement between the union and Britain.
A senior European diplomat told the British Observer newspaper: “They have asked in principle that the new relationship will not apply to Gibraltar without the explicit consent of Spain, and it will not be granted unless the Gibraltar issue is resolved through bilateral talks between Spain and Britain.”
It is noteworthy that Britain celebrated Friday the start of the process of leaving the European Union, and is scheduled to start the next stage of negotiations between the two sides on March 3rd.
The European Council’s Article 50 guidelines outline that the union cannot reach an agreement with Britain on Gibraltar without the approval of the Spanish government, according to the British newspaper “Sun”.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will also demand the smooth transportation of 10,000 people traveling daily to Gibraltar to work there, with access to the single market.
The British Prime Minister is looking to get his country out of the single market, and he will have to conclude a separate deal to prevent the presence of heavily guarded borders between Spain and Gibraltar.
It is worth noting that in a 2016 referendum, 96 percent of Britons voted in Gibraltar in the hope that easy access to and exit from Spain would be preserved for both workers and goods.
The Gibraltar region, which is subordinate to Britain, is a square peninsula of 4 kilometers long and has been a source of tension between Spain and Britain for centuries, and its population is estimated at about 30,000 people only, but it has great strategic importance as it lies on the entrance between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, and between the two continents of Europe And Africa.
There is a British naval and military base in Gibraltar, one of its aims is to monitor shipping to and from the Mediterranean.
Spain rejects London’s control of the Gibraltar region, according to the Treaty of Utrecht signed in 1713, and has been demanding for years for sovereignty over it. Follow more Geopolitics News and Updates