Brexit.- Picardo assures that “no Frontex agent may operate in Gibraltar without the approval of its Parliament”
He emphasizes that the preliminary agreement reaffirms the sovereignty of the Rock and insists that “not a single red line has been crossed”
MADRID, 11 One. 2021 (Europa Press) –
Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabián Picardo, assured this Monday that although Spain will have the assistance of Frontex for tasks related to the control of the Schengen area from the Rock, “no agent” of the mission may operate on Gibraltarian soil “without the approval of your Parliament “.
In a message on the occasion of the start of 2021, Picardo has emphasized that “regardless of what is stipulated in the agreement or treaty” between the EU and the United Kingdom to be signed, Frontex agents will only be able to operate in Gibraltar “if they have a law passed by your Parliament. ”
Thus, he has cleared up doubts in this regard and has indicated that the law of Gibraltar “will not allow any agent of the law of Spain to have executive jurisdiction or of any other type” in the Rock. “I will never present a law to Parliament that allows it,” he asserted.
That is why he stressed that the preliminary agreement, of which he said he was “very happy”, does not “cross any of the red lines” of Gibraltar in matters of “jurisdiction, sovereignty and control”. “It is an assertion of our sovereignty,” he added.
In this sense, it has clarified that the “sovereign claim of Spain with respect to Gibraltar has been specifically off the table during the negotiations” that culminated in the pre-agreement announced on December 31, which it has described as a “legally non-binding text. “and” reversible.
For Picardo, the pre-agreement reached has made it possible to avoid “the worst effects of Brexit”, something for which the agreed text has been fundamental: “it is safe for the fundamental issues that concern us.”
THE SCHENGEN SPACE
Regarding visas and the migration issue, the Gibraltarian ‘premier’ has indicated that “all aspects” of this type of activity “will take place only as a result of the reversible permit granted by the United Kingdom and Gibraltar in the final treaty that is signed.”
Thus, he has stressed that the treaty “can be undone”, which he has interpreted as “one more demonstration of sovereignty” for the Rock. In addition, he recalled that said treaty, which will be legally binding, will be signed with the EU, “which does not maintain any claim on the sovereignty of Gibraltar.”
“The member states of the Schengen zone, among which is Spain, will maintain the competence regarding the issuance of visas for the Schengen zone when the entry is made through Gibraltar, as it happens with respect to all other access points to the Schengen area “, he explained before stating that” only Gibraltar will maintain the competence to grant entry visas to the territory. ”
On this point he has detailed that the entrance to Gibraltar will continue to be the “exclusive competence” of the Rock and will be the “priority key to access Gibraltar or access to the Schengen zone through Gibraltar”.
“We will exercise this priority control over access through the Gibraltar Border and Coast Guard Agency, which will become the main control agency over all access via Gibraltar,” he said.
THE SPANISH POSTURE
The Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, considers that the agreement on December 31 “has to be translated into a treaty between the EU and the United Kingdom on Gibraltar”, which she trusts will be closed within six months – ” it may be before, hopefully not after “-.
Only when that agreement is signed will it be when the fence between Gibraltar and Spain is abolished and when the Schengen Agreement would begin to be applied in the Rock, the minister explained last week, specifying that while this occurs “we are going to make sure that we guarantee maximum fluency “,” complying with the rules of the game.
González Laya has stressed on several occasions that Spain will be responsible, “as a member state of the EU that belongs to the Schengen area”, for the fulfillment of the agreement without borders in the Rock and therefore it will be the one who has “the final decision of who enters” in the Schengen area, for which it will have the assistance of Frontex.
A priori, an “initial period of four years” has been agreed, after which the “general regime” that establishes the future agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU regarding Gibraltar would apply, although it is also possible that the agreement it is reviewed at the request of one of the parties or even annulled.
The minister has highlighted how paradoxical it is that the UK’s exit from the EU will result in Schengen being applied in Gibraltar, although she pointed out that this was the way to avoid the only hard Brexit in the entire EU, by It has long recognized that this fact “has brought the interests of Gibraltar and our country closer together.”