Madrid Welcomes Talks With London On Gibraltar After Brexit
Madrid welcomes the possibility of negotiations with London on Gibraltar after Britain exits the EU, said Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya in an interview with the Financial Times.
"We have an incredible opportunity to fix a number of things that we have not been able to do in the last 300 years. In the end, no matter what agreement we conclude ... they should benefit Gibraltar and us," the minister quotes the publication. Also, it was previously noted that Gibraltar may join the Schengen area after exiting UK from the EU, this was stated by the chief minister of the British overseas territory Fabian Picardo.
According to Gonzalez, recently signed agreements on issues such as taxes and the fight against smuggling are now much more important than traditional concepts of sovereignty.
“We live in the 21st century; what we achieved through the tax treaty is much more important for our sovereignty than it might seem. Nobody wants to have a border with a zone of unfair competition,” Gonzalez emphasized.
The territorial dispute over Gibraltar between Spain и UK lasts more than 300 years. During the referenda that took place in 1967 and 2002, about 99% of Gibraltans wanted to remain part of Britain. The territory has a constitution adopted in a referendum in 2006, according to which the legislative power belongs to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Parliament of Gibraltar. Spain, which considers Gibraltar to be its territory, proposed that Great Britain establish "joint sovereignty" over Gibraltar. Over time, according to Madrid, Spanish sovereignty over this territory should be restored.