Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is reportedly hopeful of reaching a deal on the issue of Gibraltar – the British overseas territory, which is located in the south of Spain – before the UK concludes a deal with the European Union on “Brexit” next month.
As reported by the Spanish newspaper, El País, Spain wants the deal on Brexit to include a specific protocol on Gibraltar. To facilitate this, Sánchez has excluded from the negotiations the controversial aspiration of Spain to have joint use of the airport in the territory.
“We hope to be able to reach a deal with the United Kingdom in October,” Sánchez said at a press conference after the summit of heads of state and government that took place in Salzburg on September 21. The PM explained to his EU counterparts (the leaders of the other 26 member states that, along with Spain, will remain after Brexit) that the scope of the discussions with London over Gibraltar.
“I have found the support of my partners over this,” he said. “We need a deal on Gibraltar in October.”
The Spanish PM described the pending issues are “loose ends” that can be resolved between now and October’s meeting.
As reported by El País, the Spanish government wants those agreements, which will reduce the imbalances between Gibraltar and its surroundings, crystallized in a European protocol, annexed to the Brexit deal. He also highlighted the “constructive focus” of the British government, which is showing its commitment to close down a deal soon, despite not yet having made any formal guarantees.