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Albares' meeting with Cameron on Gibraltar fails

Jesus Carames

May 16, 2024 | 8:18 p.m.

Failure in Brussels after six hours of intense negotiations

The long-awaited meeting in Brussels between the vice president of the European Commission in charge of relations with the United Kingdom, Maros Sefcovic, the minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, José Manuel Albares, his British counterpart, David Cameron, and the chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabián Picardo, has concluded without a definitive agreement.

Progress without reaching an agreement

Despite the expectations placed on this meeting, which was expected to be decisive in closing the agreement that will regulate the relationship between Gibraltar and the European Union after Brexit, the parties were unable to reach a total consensus. The British Government has issued a statement stating that, although there has been "important progress and additional areas of agreement", the final agreement has not been finalized.

Meeting details

During the six hours of intense negotiations, the leaders discussed various critical aspects of the future relationship between Gibraltar and the EU. Although the specific details of the areas of disagreement have not been made public, it is clear that significant differences remain that prevent the agreement from being finalized.

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares and his British counterpart David Cameron, along with Maros Sefcovic and Fabián Picardo, had previously expressed optimism about the possibility of reaching an understanding. However, the inherent complexities of the Gibraltar situation, exacerbated by the implications of Brexit, have proven to be a difficult obstacle to overcome.

Impact and reactions

The lack of agreement creates uncertainty about the future of Gibraltar and its relationship with the EU. The negotiations have been closely followed by citizens and business people in both Gibraltar and Spain, who are hoping for clarity on vital issues such as border transit, labor rights and trade relations.

In a context of high political and economic sensitivity, the news of the failure to close an agreement has provoked various reactions. Fabián Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar, has reiterated his commitment to continue working to secure an agreement that benefits all parties involved. For his part, Minister Albares has stressed the need to persist in dialogue and negotiations to find an acceptable solution.

Next steps

The failure of the meeting in Brussels does not mean the end of the negotiations. All parties have expressed their intention to continue working to resolve differences and reach an agreement. However, it is clear that the road to a definitive deal on Gibraltar will be long and likely full of challenges.

The European Commission, together with the governments of Spain and the United Kingdom, must continue to seek solutions that address the concerns of all parties and promote a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship. In the coming days, more meetings and consultations are expected to try to move towards an agreement that will finally end the uncertainty surrounding Gibraltar after Brexit.

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