Response to coverage of the UK’s future relationship with Gibraltar

There has been coverage of Article 184 and what this means for the UK’s future relationship with Gibraltar.

The UK's position on Gibraltar's sovereignty has not changed and will not change. We are proud that Gibraltar is British and we will always stand by Gibraltar.

The UK and Gibraltar governments have worked very closely with the government of Spain throughout this process. The UK has been clear from the beginning that our deal had to work for the whole of the UK family, and that includes Gibraltar. The Withdrawal Agreement does that, in particular it ensures Gibraltar is automatically covered by any extension of the implementation period.

 The Chief Minister of Gibraltar of her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said:

 Every aspect of the response of the United Kingdom was agreed with the Government of Gibraltar. We have worked seamlessly together in this as we have in all other aspects of this two year period of negotiation. Most importantly, the legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement has not been changed. That is what the Spanish Government repeatedly sought. But they have not achieved that. The United Kingdom has not let us down. Theresa May has not let us down.

Spain raised concerns about Article 184, which contains a commitment to negotiate a future relationship. They were concerned that this commitment meant the future relationship would automatically have the same territorial scope as the Withdrawal Agreement. This was never the intention of that Article and so we were happy to provide the clarity that the Spanish were seeking.

But this is simply clarifying the existing position which was clearly set out in the Article. It does not change the UK's commitment to negotiate a future relationship that works for all of the UK and the wider UK family including Gibraltar. And our position on sovereignty is – and will remain – unchanged. Our commitment to the double lock, which means we would not enter into sovereignty discussions with Spain without the consent of Gibraltar, is absolute and unwavering.

Both the UK and Gibraltar want to continue to work together constructively with Spain as we move into negotiation our future relationship.

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