A protocol on Gibraltar is included in the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement. It creates a new cooperation framework between London and Madrid to address relations between the Rock and the surrounding Spanish territory known as Campo de Gibraltar.
Consisting of six articles, the protocol creates three Spanish-British committees that will be tasked with addressing issues of concern such as the rights of cross-border workers, the fight against smuggling, environmental protection, and cooperation on law enforcement and border control.
As reported by Spain’s daily newspaper El País, the document does not mention the presence of representatives from Gibraltar, but London has always included them in its delegation.
The protocol recognises the approximately 10,000 Spaniards who work in Gibraltar as cross-border workers with the right to free entry and exit across the border and says that they may not be discriminated against in terms of wages, working conditions and social rights compared to the local workers.
It also says Spain and Britain will create a committee to coordinate labour issues, and to exchange updated information about cross-border workers every three months.
However, according to El País, the protocol does not address joint use of Gibraltar airport, which was built on a piece of land that Spain claims as its own. The protocol merely notes that EU air transportation regulations that do not apply to Gibraltar airport before 30 March 2019 – the UK withdrawal date – will only affect it afterwards when London and Madrid “reach a satisfactory agreement over use of the airport.”
On taxes, the protocol states that Spain and Britain will seek forms of cooperation to achieve “total transparency” to “fight fraud, smuggling and money laundering” and to resolve tax residence disputes.