The small British residence south of the Iberian Peninsula has always caused tension between London and Madrid, but the two capitals reached an agreement before the deadline.
It is the smallest area with a population of only 6.8 km2 and only 34,000 people, but since 1713 it has been a major strategic advantage to the United Kingdom. At the center of Andalusia, Gibraltar’s abode provides the British with invaluable access to the Mediterranean and Atlantic Oceans. Although it was completely under the control of London, Spain always demanded its sovereignty over the territory, and Brexit never failed to add a little more fuel to the fire. Negotiations on relations between this small territory and the European Union were excluded from the work carried out in Brussels, in order to leave London and Madrid. In early 2021 a deal was discovered among the extremists.
The integration was finally strengthened
The people of Gibraltar do not want to leave the EU, as they made clear in the 2016 referendum with 96% voting against withdrawing from the EU. In the end, if the United Kingdom actually leaves the Union, Gibraltar paradoxically finds itself more integrated into the EU than ever before.
In fact, the agreement between London and Madrid is over, which actually only means a pre-agreement reviewed in four years, which provides that the Schengen area will be consolidated within six months. Thus, Gibraltar would become the only British territory integrated into the European part of the free movement of individuals. This is good news for the 15,000 workers and 2,000 lorries that cross the border daily from Spain. Travelers from areas outside the Schengen area, including the United Kingdom in particular, must provide a passport. What please Brexiters English who spend their holidays on the rocks in the sun.
In addition, the region must comply with EU rules relating to standards of social integration or respect for the environment.
An agreement that addresses but does not resolve everything
The conclusion of an agreement between London and the European Union on December 24 illustrates the difficulty of finding one about Gibraltar, and raised fears of a possible Brexit (over a kilometer) on one of the world’s smallest borders. Restoration of the actual boundary through the use of customs debt would have had significant consequences for both parties. First to Gibraltar, it enters most parts of Spain in less than 24 hours, with more than 10 million tourists importing its food and benefits. The other side of the border benefits from the good economic health of the region, with companies hiring large numbers of workers in Spain.
Despite the agreement, Madrid has not fundamentally abandoned its desire to regain full sovereignty over the territory. An article in the Treaty of 1713, which gave territory to the British Crown, would give priority to Spain on the day the United Kingdom wanted to secede from it.
Nevertheless, the agreement, especially the spread of its application over many years, can be trusted to allow both parties to engage in a relationship of trust, during which time Spain should not reconsider the scenes of tension. Cross-border rules, using Gibraltar’s isolation.
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