The Minister of Foreign Affairs arrived in La Línea with the aim of listening to the needs of the area and assured that Spain will use the Recovery Plan to give a “definitive boost” to Campo de Gibraltar
“Win to win”. This is the formula that the Spanish Government says that it is pursuing in the negotiations with the United Kingdom on Gibraltar in the context of Brexit. It is a negotiation technique which aims to benefit all parties involved, and that is what Pedro Sánchez’ administration wants – this is what Arancha González Laya explained this evening (20.07.2020), and she assured that the Spanish Government is determined to boost the Campo de Gibraltar.
The minister appeared at a press conference after meeting with the mayor of La Línea, Juan Franco. Also present at the meeting was the central government delegate in Andalusia, Sandra García, and the deputy delegate in the province of Cádiz, José Pacheco.
González Laya has said that she has come to Campo de Gibraltar to honour the commitment that she made in February when she met with the mayors of the region in Madrid: “They invited me to visit the region to see, listen and understand at first hand and I have accepted the mayor’s invitation for me to come to La Línea first. My visit aims to listen, understand and see with my own eyes to be in a better position to negotiate with the UK on Gibraltar issues within the Brexit negotiations.”
“Commitment to the Campo de Gibraltar”
In this regard, she has assured that no negotiation “can be carried out without visiting, understanding and listening” to the Campo de Gibraltar. “The Government is committed to serving the interests, needs and wishes of Campo de Gibraltar and that is the purpose of my visit,” she said.
At this point, the minister recalled the agreement reached in the European Union for a Recovery Plan for Europe after the Covid-19 pandemic, an agreement which she highlighted has been negotiated “with great tenacity by the President of Spain who has achieved good results. It is a grand plan for Spain as a whole and which we will also use to give a decisive boost to the economy and society of Campo de Gibraltar”.
As for the negotiations with the United Kingdom on Gibraltar, she has been very cautious and has limited himself to saying that what Spain is pursuing is a “win to win” formula, without wanting to go into more detail about it: “What Spain aspires to is the building of a shared prosperity zone that a win to win; something good for Campo de Gibraltar and also for Gibraltar within the United Kingdom.”
“It is important that the United Kingdom gives a determined push to the negotiations because the clock is ticking and there is less and less time remaining for the end of the transitional period on December 31”.
Lastly, she alluded to the Campo de Gibraltar Comprehensive Plan, launched in 2018 which has not yet been carried out. Costed at €1,000 million, it includes the development of infrastructure, training, business and employment. “If other ingredients need to be added, it will be done by consensus with all the mayors of the Mancomunidad”, she pointed out.
The Mayor of La Línea is very pleased and grateful
The mayor of La Línea, Juan Franco, has been “very happy, satisfied and grateful” with the minister, who he says has honoured her promise to visit the municipality “at this delicate moment during the pandemic and the Brexit negotiations”.
“We have been dealing with La Línea de la Concepción’s specific situation in the face of Brexit and I am quite happy with the documentation that the minister has in this regard, since she knows the situation in our city perfectly well and is aware of our problems and how relations with Gibraltar are a reality which affects us on a day-to-day practical basis in everything that we do, in terms of businesses and workers,” said Franco.
The Mayor has also highlighted the sensitivity that González Laya has shown “in her statements and all the work she has carried out to understand the most important element, which is the people who will be affected by Brexit”, such as the Spanish workers in Gibraltar”.
In addition, he has asked the minister to consider the specific needs of La Línea in the negotiations as well as in the measures that will be taken to mitigate the effects of Brexit.
After the press conference, Gonzáles Laya travelled to the frontier. On Thursday, the minister will meet with all of the mayors of the Campo de Gibraltar at the Mancomunidad de Municipios headquarters, after a visit to the port of Algeciras.