Spain ‘not ready for no deal’ in treaty negotiation

A prominent academic in the Campo de Gibraltar said yesterday that “Spain is not ready for a no deal scenario”.

In a column in Europa Sur newspaper, Dr Jesus Verdu, a lecturer at the University of Cadiz and vice-rector of its Campo de Gibraltar campus, took issue with recent statements by Spain’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr Albares said Spain and the European Union “are ready for any scenario” in the treaty talks on Gibraltar’s post-Brexit relations with the bloc, even while stressing his government “does not want” no deal.

But on Thursday, Dr Verdu echoed concerns raised earlier this week by Manuel Triano, the head of the Comisiones Obreras [CCOO] union branch in the Campo, and said Mr Albares was mistaken to say the Campo was ready for no deal.

“Perhaps, from the distance of the ministry and in absolute theoretical terms, it is possible to defend that position,” Dr Verdu wrote.

“From the reality of the Campo de Gibraltar, the perspective is completely different.”

Mr Verdu said there had been sufficient time since the June 2016 referendum to “study, identify, define and try to anticipate and address” the negative impact of Brexit.

“It seems obvious that, given the consequences [of Brexit] across the EU, the two affected land borders would suffer the impact of leaving [the EU] with greater intensity,” he wrote.

Mr Verdu said Spanish authorities, in particular the state and the Junta de Andalucia, had not “planned adequately” or provided measures to mitigate the impact of Brexit on the Campo economy, which he said was heavily dependent on the Gibraltarian economy.

Even before Brexit, the Campo was “saddled” with the dual challenges of being a border area with a long-standing deficit in public investment.

“If there is no agreement, and given the lack of strategic planning by Spanish authorities, the Campo de Gibraltar will continue to be a territory with few opportunities; with the highest unemployment levels in Spain; 19th-century communication links that are totally obsolete; cross border workers in precarious conditions; [and] lamentable public services, [an area that is] easy prey for smuggling networks and illicit traffic,” he wrote.

“Of course, the agreement is not a magic wand that will resolve these shortcomings if the state and the Junta continue to forget this area, but without an agreement everything will be worse.”

“So no, Mr Minister, we are not prepared.”

Earlier this week, CCOO’s Mr Triano said a “bad decision” in the Gibraltar treaty negotiation would hit workers and companies in the Campo de Gibraltar that rely on Gibraltar for their livelihoods, adding a ‘no deal’ outcome would be “a socioeconomic catastrophe”.

And yesterday, an MP for Ciudadanos tabled a question in the Spanish Congress asking the Spanish Government what steps it was taking to cushion the impact of no deal on the Campo, including whether it would provide financial assistance.

Maria Carmen Martinez Granados cited research by the Elcano Institute which calculated that around 18.5% of the Campo’s GDP just before Brexit was generated by interactions with Gibraltar, adding that the area was one of the main economic engines in the Cadiz province economy.

She urged the government to reach an agreement soon to “leave behind the uncertainty over the relations between the Campo de Gibraltar and the Rock” and that this was “key for the future of this area, its residents and everyone in Cadiz [province]”.

She also asked for details on the state of the treaty negotiation and whether any agreement would be debated and voted on in the Spanish parliament before its ratification.

Gibraltar Still Hasn't Got Brexit Done.

Gibraltar Still Hasnt Got Brexit Done!

Informative video on where Gibraltar and Spain stands concerning Brexit.

“Spain could pay the price for the 90-day rule in the long term”

Campaign to scrap the 90/180 day rule gaining momentum


Mallorca home owner and leading British businessman Andrew Hesselden last year launched the ‘180 Days in Spain’ campaign to challenge the 90-day rule and see that this is changed, at least in Spain, and his efforts have gained massive momentum and widespread support from Britons across the UK and elsewhere in the European Union.

The fallout from Brexit is still raining down on millions of people, not least Britons who own second homes in Mallorca and Spain in general.

British businessman Andrew Hesselden launched the campaign to try to convince the Spanish and British governments to correct serious mistakes which have been made, such as the 90-day rule, which is affecting part-year residents and causing Britons currently in Mallorca a great deal of concern and even forcing some on the mainland to sell up and return to the UK.

“As Campaign Director for the ‘180 Days in Spain’ campaign (180 days in Spain | Facebook), it’s become a bit of a professional pro bono effort and we seem to have created something that’s got a lot of support now.

“We’re contacting Spanish and British politicians and asking for their help to ensure that the rights and interests of part-year residents in Spain are properly protected after Brexit.

“But the campaign is bigger than that because, at the same time, we also hope to alleviate some of the current travel woes for all British visitors to Spain that were caused by Brexit; specifically by the choices the UK government made and their continued and ongoing inaction on the matter.

Read more.