British visitors to Gibraltar will have to show their passports but Spaniards will not

British visitors to Gibraltar will have to show their passports but Spaniards will not, reports claim, amid the Rock’s proposed entrance into Europe’s Schengen zone.

Negotiations between London and Madrid over the British overseas territory have run alongside the UK’s post-Brexit trade talks with the EU in recent years.

Gibraltar, which has a population of less than 34,000, relies heavily on the flow of goods and people, including around 15,000 Spaniards who cross the border every day to work there.

Gibraltar, which has a population of less than 34,000, relies heavily on the flow of good and people, including around 15,000 Spaniards who cross the border every day to work there

Gibraltar, which has a population of less than 34,000, relies heavily on the flow of good and people, including around 15,000 Spaniards who cross the border every day to work there

Gibraltar, which has a population of less than 34,000, relies heavily on the flow of good and people, including around 15,000 Spaniards who cross the border every day to work there

British visitors to Gibraltar will have to show their passports but Spaniards will not, reports claim, amid the Rock's proposed entrance into Europe's Schengen zone

British visitors to Gibraltar will have to show their passports but Spaniards will not, reports claim, amid the Rock's proposed entrance into Europe's Schengen zone

British visitors to Gibraltar will have to show their passports but Spaniards will not, reports claim, amid the Rock’s proposed entrance into Europe’s Schengen zone

What is the Schengen Zone? 

The Schengen zone is an area made up of 26 European countries, of which the UK is not one, that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. 

It enables every EU citizen to travel, work and live in any EU country without special formalities. 

Originally, the concept of free movement was to enable the European working population to freely travel and settle in any EU State, but it fell short of abolishing border controls within the Union. 

A break-through came in 1985 when cooperation between individual governments led to the signing, in Schengen (a small village in Luxembourg), of the agreement on the gradual abolition of checks at common borders, followed by the signing in 1990 of the convention implementing that agreement. 

The implementation of the Schengen Agreements started in 1995, initially involving seven EU states. 

Born as an intergovernmental initiative, the developments brought about by the Schengen Agreements have now been incorporated into the body of rules governing the EU. 

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As a result, Spain has power over how any such trade deal affects the island, and can effectively veto terms it is unhappy with.

The UK remains fully committed to supporting the people and economy of Gibraltar, according to the Telegraph, but the prospect of it moving into the Schengen free movement zone, in order to avoid tough border controls with Spain, has created further complications.

The zone is an area made up of 26 European countries, of which the UK is not one, that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. 

It enables every EU citizen to travel, work and live in any EU country without special formalities.

However, such a move brings challenges, with Gibraltar not willing to allow Spanish security forces onto its territory, according to reports.

Entering the Schengen zone will also mean flights from the 26 other countries will be given the green light, whereas currently they are only restricted to and from Britain as Spain has not agreed to it entering the EU’s aviation space.  

At the weekend, Gibraltar’s chief minister Fabian Picardo said ‘a Schengen-style agreement would be the most positive’ and said he was grateful to the Spanish government for its efforts in trying to find a solution. 

‘We are just a few phrases away from a historic agreement,’ Mr Picardo said.

Meanwhile, Spain’s foreign minister Arancha González Laya has said many times her government’s target is to ‘create an area of shared prosperity’ around the Bay of Gibraltar, where unemployment is at nearly a third, being one of the country’s poorest urban areas

Talks are understood to be continuing on the matter while negotiations are also ongoing between the UK and the EU on a post-Brexit trade deal.

Link hienalouca.com

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