On December 31, 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) signed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) that outlines their future relationship after Brexit. One of the key provisions of the TCA is the agreement reached on the status of Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory located on the southern coast of Spain.
The TCA includes a protocol on Gibraltar that recognizes its unique position and ensures cooperation with Spain. Under the protocol, Gibraltar will remain part of the UK`s customs territory, but will also be part of the EU`s Schengen area, which allows for free movement of people within the EU. This means that there will be no hard border between Gibraltar and Spain, and the current fluidity of movement will be maintained.
The agreement also sets out provisions for cooperation in areas such as the environment, law enforcement, and trade. Gibraltar will have access to the UK market, as well as the EU market for services that are essential to the economy, such as financial services, online gambling and insurance.
The TCA provides much-needed certainty for businesses in Gibraltar, which has been a source of tension between the UK and Spain for decades. The agreement will ensure that Gibraltar remains a stable and prosperous territory, with access to both the UK and EU markets.
The agreement has been welcomed by both the Gibraltar government and the Spanish government. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the deal “a good agreement for the interests of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Gibraltar.” Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo called it a “historic treaty” and a “win-win” for all parties involved.
Overall, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU provides a framework for future cooperation and ensures that Gibraltar`s economy and way of life remain stable. The agreement on Gibraltar is a positive development in the Brexit process and demonstrates that cooperation and compromise are possible between the UK and the EU.