«The authorities of Spain, United Kingdom and Gibraltar have agreed on the procedure so that the 15,000 residents of the European Union (EU) who work in Gibraltar, of which almost 10,000 are Spanish, can make their rights effective as of January 1, 2021 “. Thus began the press release issued on Tuesday by the Spanish Government to publicize a pact that will shield the rights of cross-border workers once Brexit takes effect.
Cross-border workers will be able to verify on the Gibraltar website frontierworkers.egov.gi From next December 1, if they are registered as such and from January 1, 2021, they will be able to ask the Gibraltarian authorities for a letter certifying it. This will allow them to prove their identity at any time and enter Gibraltar with your Spanish passport and ID or ID from another EU country when Brexit is already consummated.
Specifically, this agreement will benefit cross-border workers from the EU, of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein; Y Switzerland who work in Gibraltar and live in Spain. Only those registered as cross-border workers as of December 31, 2020 will be able to exercise their rights.
Of course, it will be for a grace period from January 1 to July 1, 2021 as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, during which time the Government of Gibraltar will not impose any new entry conditions for EU, EEA or Swiss citizens (including cross-border) to enter Gibraltar. «The Government will keep this position under constant review, especially given the current talks to establish a new regime of border fluidity with the EU, “adds the Executive of the Rock.
To expand the information, the Government of El Peñón has issued a technical note with the details. Thus, it explains that the cross-border persons that will be covered will be those who, on December 31, are citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and do not reside in Gibraltar, but also the self-employed who legally carry out an activity in Gibraltar and Gibraltar is the place of establishment.
In the case of people who, having worked on the Rock, are no longer employees or self-employed workers carrying out their activity there, it will be considered that they retain their status as cross-border workers and are therefore covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, provided that, as of December 31, 2020, they meet certain requirements. Here are have a temporary disability to work as a result of illness or accident, being in a duly registered involuntary unemployment situation after having been employed in Gibraltar for at least one year, or with temporary incapacity to work due to pregnancy or childbirth, among others.
And what are the Benefits for cross-border people covered by the Withdrawal Agreement? They will be able to continue working in Gibraltar and benefit from the same community rights of those they currently enjoy, which means that they will maintain labor rights based on community regulations. This includes the right to non-discrimination, to start an activity in Gibraltar and to social and tax benefits, such as the unemployment.
Satisfaction in the Campo de Gibraltar
The eight mayors of Gibraltar Field They have welcomed this agreement, which is a relief for thousands of families in the area but also for the economy of this Cadiz region, where these workers live and consume.
The mayor of Algeciras, Jose Ignacio Landaluce (PP), however, has again requested investments for the Campo de Gibraltar, as it insists that it will be the area most affected by Brexit in Spain: “There must be positive discrimination towards this region. We have a series of problems in the Campo de Gibraltar that cannot be aggravated by Brexit. It is important that the Government of the nation supports special investments for our area ».
The regidor of San Roque, Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix (PSOE), has stressed that the dialogue and the goodwill of the parties have been key to reaching this understanding, “which provides tranquility in these turbulent times.” Likewise, it is confident that this precedent and climate of understanding between the parties will serve to maintain this situation. Permanently.
“Without fluency at the Gate there will be no employment”
But Cross-Border Group, that brings together economic and social agents from both sides of the Gate, has gone further. Its new president, Michael Netto, warns that it is essential that the fluidity of people and goods in the gate, and not only of cross-border workers, or else, the economy of the Rock will fall “and there will be no labor rights to protect because there will be no employment.”
CCOO, which is part of the Cross-Border Group, ensures that negotiations between governments must continue in the same line of agreement to offer answers to other questions and groups that are equally involved in the effects of Brexit in Campo de Gibraltar.
«The operation and border crossing fluency, the guarantees for the activity of Spanish companies that have a significant portfolio of clients in Gibraltar, or the mechanisms to maintain the levels of consumption of goods and services of the Gibraltarian population in the region are essential elements that a broader agreement must guarantee, ”said the provincial secretary of this union, Lola Rodríguez.