Spain hopes for deal with UK on Gibraltar by summer
Spain’s foreign minister Alfonso Dastis has said that he hopes to reach a deal with the UK on Gibraltar by the summer.
Mr Dastis expressed hope that a bilateral agreement could be reached by October.
‘We are definitely determined to defend our position so I don’t exclude anything,’ he said.
‘But we are definitely working towards having an agreement before October, even if possible by the summer, and we hope… that there is also, from the British side, a position which works towards that end.’
The EU has said that a deal between the UK and Spain is a prerequisite for any future trade deal after Brexit.
The British Government has said that ‘informal’ talks on the future of the UK overseas territory, and Mr Dastis has said that sovereignty will not be an issue during talks.
Spain has a long-standing claim to Gibraltar, which voted against Brexit by 96 percent.
The Spanish foreign ministry is pushing for joint management of Gibraltar’s airport.
‘We have tried twice.’ Mr Dastis said. ‘Once it was rejected by the UK, the second time it was rejected by us. Maybe third time lucky?’
Responding to the comments by the foreign minister, a UK government spokesman said: ‘Discussions are continuing with the Government of Gibraltar and our European partners on how to address the specific challenges and opportunities here.’