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20th July 2021, 19:34

Current EC draft negotiating mandate could not form basis for agreement, says Picardo; Government will continue to work to explore all possibilities

Published by GBC News

The Chief Minister has responded to the publication of the European Commission's draft negotiating mandate, saying on the basis of the current draft, there is "no possibility for this forming the basis for an agreement". In a statement on Tuesday evening, the Government said the mandate "strays unhelpfully" from the Framework Agreement agreed by the UK and Gibraltar with Spain on the 31st December.

As a result, it says, the mandate may unfortunately not form the basis for the negotiation of an agreement on the UK treaty with the EU. Nonetheless, it says it will continue to work with the UK government to explore all possibilities, and also continue the work to be ready in the event that a treaty relationship cannot be negotiated.

Before the EU negotiating mandate was published, the Chief Minister had told Parliament that Gibraltar would remain steadfastly committed to the New Year's Eve Agreement.In his Budget address, Fabian Picardo said the EU's draft negotiating mandate was "likely to leave a lot to be desired", but said this was only the EU's opening position - and that Gibraltar has already set out what it is prepared to do. The Chief Minister said the mandate would not be one that Gibraltar would like, but that this in itself should not worry people.

The full Government of Gibraltar statement on the EU Commission draft negotiating mandate can be found here