MADRID, Spain – A breakthrough in lengthy negotiations in the eleventh hour will keep the border from Gibraltar to Spain open after the complete withdrawal of the United Kingdom The European Union announced the Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya on Thursday / p>

Just a few hours before the UK To complete the break with the 27-nation bloc, Madrid and London have “signed a fundamental agreement” that means that people on British territory at the southern tip of Spain can “breathe a sigh of relief,” said Gonzalez Laya

The key to the deal is that The Rock, whose sovereignty is contested by Spain and Britain, will continue to be subject to the rules in place in the European Schengen area, she said that this area is made up of about two dozen nations that have agreed have to remove general travel controls among them Great Britain is not part of the Schengen group

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement that the negotiating teams “want to ensure border fluidity, which is clearly in the best interests of the people living on both sides”

The compromise agreement between Spain and the USAK will be sent to Brussels, where the European Commission will start negotiations with London to turn it into a treaty, said Gonzalez Laya

The Prime Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, warned that tough negotiations, including jurisdiction issues and import duties, were still to be negotiated as the treaty was drafted

‘There will be complexity,’ he said at a press conference, adding, ‘we could end up reaching an agreement on the [free] movement of people, but not on goods””

Gonzalez Laya said the technical details of the agreement, such as the surveillance of the port and airport of Gibraltar, will be made public this year A major hurdle in the negotiations was whether EU representatives could be stationed on British territory

In the UKIn the 2016 Brexit referendum, 96% of the voters in Gibraltar supported remaining in the EU. They were faced with the possibility of entering Spain through Spain in 2021 with strict new controls at the border with the bloc, which had been open for decades

For Gibraltar, which needs access to the EU market for its tiny economy, a lot was dependent on the outcome. Around 34 people live on the territory000 people

More than 15000 people live in Spain and work in Gibraltar, which accounts for around 50% of the labor market

Gibraltar was not part of the Brexit trade agreement between the EU and the USAKthat was announced on Christmas Eve

The area was ceded to Great Britain in 1713, but Spain retains its claim to sovereignty over it. This dispute has occasionally flared up

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World news – FI – Deal struck to keep Gibraltar border open