Gibraltar treaty is ‘necessary’, Grande-Marlaska says

Spain’s Minister for the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, said at the weekend that “there will be” a UK/EU treaty on Gibraltar, adding the deal was necessary for the good of communities on either side of the border.

He was speaking in an interview with Europa Sur newspaper during a visit to Algeciras on Friday to announce the extension of a law enforcement operation targeting drug traffickers.

During the interview, Mr Grande-Marlaska was asked about the negotiation for a deal on Gibraltar’s post-Brexit relations with the EU.

The negotiation has cross-border mobility at its core and as Minister for the Interior, Mr Grande-Marlaska’s ministry is responsible for both the Policia Nacional, which handles immigration duties, and the Guardia Civil, which is responsible for customs at Spanish borders.

“There has to be agreement and there will be, necessarily,” Mr Grande-Marlaska said.

“Above all, there has to be [agreement] for the good of citizens, above all in the Campo de Gibraltar and La Linea, in particular, and also for the Gibraltarians.”

“Our aim is that [cross-border relations] remain as they have been up to now, stable.”

“There are 15,000 citizens who go to Gibraltar every day to work and then return.”

“We have to guarantee harmony and the work of those citizens.”

The minister was asked on two occasions whether the UK had asked for a light-touch application of Schengen rules to British citizens crossing the border.

“Everything is done strictly within the law, that’s an unshakeable principle,” Mr Grande-Marlaska replied twice.