EU-UK relations: Council authorises the start of negotiations for an agreement in respect of Gibraltar

The Council today adopted a decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an EU-UK agreement in respect of Gibraltar, as well as the negotiating directives. On this basis, the European Commission can now begin formal negotiations with the United Kingdom in respect of Gibraltar.

The aim of the negotiations is to establish a broad and balanced agreement between the EU and the UK in respect of Gibraltar in view of the particular geographical situation and specificities of Gibraltar.

Gibraltar was not included in the scope of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed between the EU and UK at the end of 2020.

On 31 December 2020 Spain and the UK reached an understanding on a possible framework for an agreement on Gibraltar. On the basis of that understanding, Spain invited the Commission to initiate the negotiations of such an agreement at EU level. 

On 20 July 2021 the Commission presented a recommendation for a Council decision authorising the opening of negotiations with the UK in respect of Gibraltar and for negotiating directives.

The envisaged agreement between the EU and the UK in respect of Gibraltar should be without prejudice to the issues of sovereignty and jurisdiction.

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