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19th April 2022, 20:04

Full effect of Schengen Frontier Code will be applied if there is no treaty, says CM

The Schengen Border Code is being strictly applied to non Europeans and non Spanish and Gibraltar residents.

The Chief Minister has told GBC that in the event of no treaty, the full application of the Schengen Border Code will be the default position for everyone who is not an EU national, including Gibraltarians.

Over the weekend, those not in possession of a red ID card were not being allowed to cross the frontier without a valid reason. The Chief Minister took to Twitter on Sunday to say he would be raising the matter with both Spain and the UK. However, there have been further reports today of British nationals being turned back as they attempted to cross into Spain.

Third country nationals need to justify their reason for travel and show their date of departure.

In answers to questions from GBC, Fabian Picardo says the fluid movement of persons across the border between Gibraltar and Spain remains a key part of the envisaged agreement for the future relationship of Gibraltar with the European Union.

He says until that agreement has been concluded, Spain is bound to apply the EU Schengen Border Code, which provides for a greater intensity of controls at the border on what the EU terms Third Country Nationals. The Code obliges border guards to check and stamp passports and also to question border crossers on matters like the purpose of their visit to the Schengen area and to request proof of their means of subsistence.

Gibraltarian residents of Gibraltar who hold red identity cards have been temporarily exempted by Spain from this requirement pending the negotiation of a new treaty. However, in the event of no treaty the full application of the Schengen Border Code would be the default position for everyone who is not an EU National, including Gibraltarians.

The Chief Minister says the Government has already raised the issues which arose in some instances this weekend, but sadly this must be seen against the wider context of the legal reality which exists for British Citizens as a result of Brexit.