GIBRALTAR’s leader said he is ‘confident’ of a ‘positive outcome’ to a post-Brexit deal for Gibraltar after Spain said it was ready to remove the frontier and create a shared prosperity solution to Brexit.
The British territory’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said in a government statement he now expects ‘a successful conclusion’ to the talks over an EU treaty with the UK for at least the next four years.
Jose Manuel Albares, Spanish Foreign Minister, said a text suggested by the EU and Spain would allow ‘maximum freedom of people and goods’ into and out of Gibraltar.
All sides will now try to resolve remaining differences in the next round of meetings on November 28-29 in London.
Albares told reporters that the UK already has a European Commission proposal that has ‘global, balanced and with technical solutions’ for the problems raised by Brexit on Gibraltar.
After Picardo’s earlier reluctance to accept it was a done deal, he sounded far more positive and even hinted the EU treaty could be signed ‘this year’.
His new perspective comes after Albares said that ‘we cannot be in this situation forever’.
The Spanish foreign minister was referring to Gibraltar’s current limbo of being outside the EU while having all the privileges of its members for nearly two years.
Despite opposition from Andalucia mayor Juan Andaluce, Mayor of La Linea Juan Franco said the agreement is a sign that ‘sanity prevails’.
Franco now hopes La Linea could now become one of the biggest winners in the shared prosperity proposal, with Gibraltar boosting the frontier city’s economic outlook.
While Picardo suggested that a no deal was still a possibility he confirmed all sides were ‘on the same page in this objective’.
“This has not been easy and what is left is not easy either,” Picardo concluded.
“But we remain committed to a positive outcome.
“A positive outcome can now be achieved.
“A positive outcome must now be the result.”