The Prime Minister then responded: “Can I thank my Honourable Friend for his warm words of support and assure him that the Foreign Secretary in particular, is intensely engaged with his counterparts in Spain to try and find resolution on the issues that are outstanding”
As the only Overseas Territory that is physically connected to mainland Europe, Gibraltar naturally has a unique relationship with the EU and its member states that other Overseas Territories do not. However, Article 774 of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, agreed between the UK and the EU on Christmas Eve of 2020, makes clear that the agreement does not apply to Gibraltar. However, on 31st December 2020, the UK and Spain reached an agreement-in-principle, just hours before the transition period deadline. Over two years on and numerous extensions to the transition period though, the negotiating teams still have been unable to translate the agreement into a workable treaty that both sides can agree to, with the primary obstacle at present being passport control.
The 1.2km border between Gibraltar and Spain is crossed by approximately 15,000 people per day, with 11,000 of that number being Spanish according to data provided by the Cross Frontier Group. Despite this, the Spanish Government has made clear that negotiations cannot go on indefinitely, and are making arrangements for a situation without agreement. The UK Government remains in intensive talks with the Spanish Government and the European Commission.