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Spain reaches agreement in principle with UK to avoid hard Brexit in Gibraltar

Publication: Thursday, December 31, 2020 2:22 PM

Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya announced an agreement in principle between Spain and the United Kingdom to avoid a hard Brexit in Gibraltar: “We are breaking down barriers to build an area of ​​shared prosperity”.

“The door is up”, insisted Laya, since the agreement avoids a hard border with Gibraltar, which would have remained a country outside the European Union, and the Rock will remain in the Schengen area with “Spain as a member responsible”.

“This is the start of a new relationship,” said the minister. This principle of agreement will be transmitted to the European Commission, which will establish negotiating directives for an agreement to be reached between the Union and the United Kingdom, which will be approved and enter into force within six months, Laya said. .

According to Laya, for six months “the current situation will continue, but in search of a flexible application, which already exists in Schengen so that cross-border traffic is as smooth as possible and thus helps our citizens of Campo de Gibraltar and the citizens of Gibraltar “.

In addition, the achievement of this agreement does not imply rejecting the Spanish aspirations concerning the sovereignty of the Rock, insisted the minister: “We are firm in our principles which we do not want to renounce, but we also contribute to progress for our citizens, what they demanded of us “.

Queen Elizabeth II signed the agreement

The House of Lords on Wednesday approved the deal that will govern UK-EU relations, and hours later, Head of State Queen Elizabeth II also signed the deal, turning it into law and ending one year. frantic negotiations.

The deal concluded its parliamentary procedure in a single day and without opposition in the upper house. After the actual signing, the law will enter into force before 11 p.m. on Thursday, December 31, when the Brexit transition period will end.

House of Commons spokeswoman Lindsay Hoyle announced that in the early hours of Thursday at 12:25 a.m., Queen Elizabeth II gave royal assent to the Brexit trade plan.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson assured that “11pm on December 31st marks a new beginning in our country’s history and a new relationship with the EU, its greatest ally. The time has finally come and now is now time to enjoy it. ”

The historic agreement, concluded between the two parties on December 24 after a year of negotiations against the clock, was officially initialed Wednesday morning in Brussels by the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, and the President of the Council. European, Charles Michel.

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