On 14 and 15 December 2021 the UK hosted a fourth round of negotiations with the European Union (EU) on Gibraltar, following previous rounds in December, November and October 2021.
Talks have been constructive and are making positive progress. Discussions have covered a range of issues within the Political Framework agreed between the UK Government, together with the Government of Gibraltar, and the Kingdom of Spain on 31 December 2020.
Ensuring the fluid movement of people between Gibraltar and the EU has been the key area of discussion. Other areas have included the movement of goods, law enforcement and criminal justice, transport, social security coordination, citizens’ rights, and data protection.
Negotiations with the EU will continue in the coming weeks. The UK remains fully committed to seeking a treaty based on the careful and pragmatic balance achieved by the Political Framework. The UK has been clear we will not agree to anything which compromises UK sovereignty.
We are, of course, working closely with our Gibraltarian friends for a solution that works for the people of Gibraltar so they can go about their business. The UK Government and Government of Gibraltar agreed our joint approach to negotiations at the UK-Gibraltar Joint Ministerial Council on 29 March 2021. Since then, we have and will continue to work closely together as discussions with the EU progress.
The UK Government and Government of Gibraltar have also continued work to ensure robust plans are in place for all eventualities, including a no negotiated outcome. While the Political Framework provides the route to a treaty it is only prudent to prepare for all eventualities.
In parallel to the UK-EU negotiations the UK Government, with the Government of Gibraltar, is maintaining a regular dialogue with the Kingdom of Spain.
In December, the Foreign Secretary travelled to Madrid to meet the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel Albares to discuss strengthening the bilateral relationship between our two nations. The Ministers also welcomed the constructive nature of negotiations between the EU and the UK, reaffirmed their shared commitment to the Political Framework and agreed that it is in everyone’s interest to conclude these talks in the first quarter of 2022. The UK looks forward to hosting the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs on a visit to London in the coming weeks.