Spain’s secret plans for Gibraltar REVEALED as Madrid draws up Brexit terms for the Rock

Theresa May and Gibraltar

Spain looks like it will block a Brexit deal that is not in Spanish interests (Getty)

 

SPAIN has laid out what it sees as non-negotiable terms in the upcoming Brexit talks which include barring Gibraltar using “unfair competitive practices” against Spanish businesses.

Spain plans to end Gibraltar’s ‘privileged’ existence as a ‘tax haven’ and has drawn up a document called ‘Negotiations on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU’ which has been sent to congress.

In the document, leaked to Spanish press, the foreign ministry makes clear that “Gibraltar is a matter of state” and that the special regime the Rock currently enjoys “is a condition that Spain had to accept at the time [1986] to be able to join the then European Communities”, given that the United Kingdom had become a member back in 1973.

However the document goes on to state that over the last three decades, Gibraltar’s status “has led to a situation of unjustified privilege”.

It continues to state that while Gibraltar enjoys the four basic EU freedoms – people, goods, services and capital – it has become a “tax haven” as it is not part of the customs union or subject to direct British laws.

It continues to state that while Gibraltar is not part of the United Kingdom, it is a territory “subject to decolonisation” and whose foreign policy is dictated by London. As such, any such agreement between London and Brussels would have to be subject to approval by the Iberian country.

The document also indicates the areas that it will not accept as part of any negotiations – mainly any areas that are not in Spanish interests.

It reads: “Spain cannot accept for the EU to negotiate with the United Kingdom a relationship that is not compatible with Spain’s position on territorial claims, and that doesn’t respect Spanish interests, those of the people of the Campo de Gibraltar [the Spanish region immediately adjacent to Gibraltar] and that [doesn’t] prevent a situation of unfair competition with Spanish territory.”

Full article: Spain’s secret plans for Gibraltar REVEALED as Madrid draws up Brexit terms for the Rock (Express)

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