UK urges EU to think again about bloc’s plan for Gibraltar talks – .

UK urges EU to think again about bloc’s plan for Gibraltar talks – .

People cross the airport tarmac in front of the Rock of Gibraltar in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, June 24, 2021. REUTERS / Jon Nazca

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) – The UK has asked the European Union to ‘think it over’ after the bloc released a post-Brexit negotiating plan over Gibraltar’s future which London says seeks to undermine British sovereignty over the territory.

The European Commission said the draft negotiating mandate would have a positive impact for people living and working on both sides of the border between Spain and Gibraltar without undermining the EU’s single market.

But British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the plan conflicted with a deal between London, Madrid and Gibraltar reached in December of last year, just before Britain completed its exit from the ‘EU.

“It seeks to undermine UK sovereignty over Gibraltar and cannot be a basis for negotiations,” Raab said in a statement.

“We have always been pragmatic and flexible in finding arrangements that work for all parties, and we are disappointed that this has not been reciprocated. We urge the EU to think again. “

A UK official said a problem with the EU’s mandate was its provision that Spain should carry out border control and surveillance in Gibraltar’s port, airport and waters. Under the December framework agreement, the EU border agency Frontex would take on this role, the official said.

Reporting by William Schomberg in London and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels Editing by Mark Heinrich

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