Gibraltar chaos: Spanish mayors call for immediate talks to stop ‘terrible consequences’

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The mayors of the Campo de Gibraltar region demand an immediate agreement on the British Overseas territory. They said that the agreement would need to be in the interests of the citizens of the region. The president of the Campo de Gibraltar region Juan Lozano has stated that the welfare of citizens must take priority in the negotiations.

He said that citizens should be “the true protagonists of the pact so that they can keep their jobs and maintain good neighbourliness”.

The council of mayors from the southern Spanish region also stressed that “it would not be acceptable for the Gibraltar border to be the only one in the European Union that suffered a hard Brexit”.

The council added: “The repercussions of a hard Brexit would be very negative for the development and employment in the Campo de Gibraltar and Gibraltar since an anomalous, discriminatory and damaging situation would be generated for La Línea de la Concepción, Campo de Gibraltar and the province of Cádiz.”

The council of mayors from the region have demanded that an agreement to avoid a hard Brexit in Gibraltar must be made before the cut-off date of December 31.

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They said that if an agreement was not reached it would have, “terrible economic, social and political consequences”.

The combined mayors have demanded the “firm and serious commitment” of the creation of a zone of shared prosperity in the region.

They created a declaration that stated that “the Campo de Gibraltar cannot and should not once again be the one that pays the price of a lack of understanding”.

On Sunday, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said Spain remained committed to negotiating to reach a deal over Gibraltar.

In an interview with the Vocento media group she said: “We have a big disagreement on the issue of sovereignty, but that need not be an obstacle to reach an agreement that favours the movement of our citizens and helps us create an area of shared prosperity,” she said.

“What is in play for this territory [meaning Gibraltar], which voted to remain within the EU, is that they could be the ones who pay the price of the UK’s failure to reach a deal.”

“They are going to end up outside [the EU], and it is very cold outside the EU.”

“We’re still talking, even over the festive period,” she added.

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“We will work for a deal until the last moment, and it won’t be because of Spain if there is no agreement.”

The Unite the Union and Spanish union Comisiones Obreras have called on negotiators to reach an agreement for Gibraltar’s future.

A statement made by both unions said: “Following the agreement reached between the European Union and the United Kingdom on Brexit, Unite the Union and Comisiones Obreras have reiterated the need for the negotiating process underway regarding Gibraltar to be concluded with an agreement when there are a few days left until the deadline expires,”

“Both unions have reiterated their conviction that ‘no agreement is not an option’ since a Brexit without an agreement on Gibraltar could have dire consequences for the citizens of the area.”

“The unions consider that it would not be acceptable for the Gibraltar border to be the only one in the European Union that suffers a hard Brexit, whose repercussions would be very negative for the economic development and employment in Gibraltar and the Campo Area.”

“In this respect, the unions have called on negotiators to be able to overcome differences and establish a framework of an agreement in which the interests of the public prevail over any other interest.”

“Likewise, they consider that if the intelligence and disposition of the negotiators have made possible an agreement on the rights of cross-border workers, that same dynamic should serve to culminate a global agreement that will make shared prosperity a reality.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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