Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya has said it is possible to stay even if no deal is reached with the UK.
Border workers commuting between Gibraltar and Spain will be exempt from border controls after Brexit even though no free movement deal is reached with the UK, Spain’s Foreign Minister said on Monday, Arancha Gonzalez Laya.
Madrid and London are negotiating on how to control the land border between Spain and Gibraltar, a British overseas territory located at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, as it is excluded from the last exit deal. minute concluded between the United Kingdom and the European Union last week.
“Our top priority is to prevent the Gibraltar border from becoming a hard border,” Gonzalez Laya said at a press conference.
However, even without a deal, arrangements will be in place for those who work on one side of the border and live on the other.
“Cross-border workers who registered their status before January 1, 2021… will be able to cross by identifying themselves with a document prepared for this purpose,” she said.
Other travelers will need to have their passport stamped.
Over 15,000 people live in Spain and work in Gibraltar, representing around 50 percent of Gibraltar’s workforce.
The territory’s population of around 34,000 was overwhelmingly opposed to Britain leaving the EU.
In the UK’s Brexit referendum of 2016, 96% of Gibraltar voters supported staying in the continental bloc, which they say gives them more leverage in dealing with the Madrid government.
The port also receives around 10 million tourists per year, a sector representing around a quarter of its economy.
Spain will continue to claim sovereignty over the territory, ceded to the United Kingdom in 1713 after its capture during the War of Spanish Succession, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, Gonzalez Laya said.