In full uncertainty about Brexit, Spain and the United Kingdom have concluded a preliminary agreement on a bilateral on Gibraltar. The two Governments have temporarily closed the package that will govern the relationship between Spain and the british colony once this leave the EU, with the United Kingdom. There are four memoranda of understanding, and of a tax treaty that seek to balance the nexus between Spain and the british colony, labeled as a tax haven. The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, yesterday admitted this principle of agreement, but warned that its threat of veto to the general agreement of the Brexit persists.
Spain and the United Kingdom, they get the first understanding about Gibraltar from the broken agreements of Cordoba, 12 years ago. Paradoxically, this milestone occurs at the most critical time of Brexit, in large measure by the refusal of Spain to sign a text that does not guarantee, according to the Government's interpretation, that Gibraltar will not be considered in the future as an integral part of the United Kingdom.
Although the Executive avoided giving publicity to this agreement with respect to the memoranda —the news was announced by the chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, the president confirmed its existence and it was used as an example of which Spain maintains a constructive approach with regard to the Brexit, despite the unusual threat of a veto. “If the problem is not resolved, Spain will have to vote no to the agreement of the Brexit because it affects the essence of our country, of our nation. And it says a Government which has managed to agree a protocol and four memoranda on the relationship with Gibraltar. Our attitude is constructive,” said Sanchez in a joint appearance with the Portuguese prime minister, António Costa, after holding a summit hispano-lusa, in Valladolid.
memoranda of understanding to address the four most sensitive areas between Spain and the Rock. One of the most problematic has been the tobacco. Using the text agreed, the authorities gibraltareñas should commit to raise the price so that it is not so attractive for smuggling into Spain. Another document crucial, but less contentious, has been the relative cross-border workers (around 10,000 spaniards cross the fence every day to go to his place on the Rock). The third party collects environmental commitments (Spain complains that Gibraltar makes, illegal dumping, among other breaches) and the fourth alludes to the police and customs cooperation. Perhaps the most important of all, formulated as the treaty, refers to the taxation. Gibraltar assumed certain commitments aimed at reducing the fiscal competition which makes the colony, home to many companies with activity in Spain to benefit from the reduced taxation gibraltar.
The preliminary agreement is a first step in Hermesbet a long history of disagreements between Madrid and London on account of Gibraltar, the territory labeled by Spain as a tax haven. The memoranda of understanding only affect, of time, the so-called transitional period of Brexit, which shall apply from the day of departure (march 30, 2019) until the entry into force of the future relationship between the Uk and the block to the community (expected in January 2021). But Spain is confident that it feels the bases for a touch more peaceful future. The reasoning is that if the Rock wants a close relationship with the EU, 96% of its citizens voted to remain in the european family, in the referendum of 2016— will have to be understood necessarily with Spain.
Picardo, who returned from Madrid yesterday, once clear of the negotiations, said in a statement that the jobs have completed and that there are only “slight clarification pending” that will be resolved in the next few hours. The chief minister will report today to the institutions of the Rock. The Spanish authorities also suggest that the five texts address the majority of their claims in this process: that with the departure from Gibraltar of the European Union, the relationship with regard to Spain to be more balanced. The secretary of State for the EU, Marco Aguiriano, give today more details in the Congress of Deputies.
This way bargaining is parallel to the general agreement of Brexit, in which Spain maintains strong objections to the solution that is given to the future of Gibraltar. Despite this uncertainty regarding the general framework, the Spanish Governments and british have preferred to conclude this phase bilaterally to pave the way in case you thrive the final agreement of withdrawal of Uk from the EU. In any case, Sanchez is ready to thwart the next summit on the Brexit if the text of the exit of the british and the political declaration on the future relationship does not make it clear that Gibraltar does not form part of the United Kingdom (and, therefore, can not automatically benefit, without the approval of the Spanish Government, of the advantages that can agree in a future London and Brussels). “We do not feel represented nor reflected in the text”, remachó Sanchez. The will of the Spanish Government is, despite everything, to achieve a socket that allows to unlock the text before the 25th of November, when it is foreseen that what to endorse in Brussels the heads of State and Government in europe.Discomfort in Brussels
Although this hypothesis of blocking uncomfortable to some european leaders, who see an obstacle occurred in the already complex management of the divorce of the british, the Portuguese prime minister, wanted to support the objection Spanish. “It has been considered essential that there is a border of rigid between Ireland and Northern Ireland. But the issue of Gibraltar is also central to Spain. We have to make a great effort to please all,” said Costa. The divorce of the british was one of european issues that were addressed by both leaders.
With the emphasis on clarifying the status of Gibraltar, Spain is meant to correct an anomaly that may harm him since he acceded to the European Union, in 1986. When the United Kingdom joined the club in 1973, Gibraltar did so in a fairly unique situation: as a non-autonomous territory whose external relations manages London, but without following many of the precepts of community, among them the customs union or taxation. This allows you to be within the EU, but with some fiscal rules to be abusive in respect to Spain. This situation has led to clashes continued between Madrid and London during his european society.
Until now, the european partners were trying to maintain equidistance because it was a conflict that affected two of them. But with the departure of the Uk, Spain wants to be ensured that Brussels is on your side. Something that's not resolved, according to the Government's interpretation, with the current wording of the disengagement agreement british.