The rock and the Campo de Gibraltar come to the last day of the year mired in uncertainty about the possibilities of reaching an agreement before this midnight expires the deadline for Spain, the United Kingdom and Gibraltar to draw the future of their relationship after exit from the European Union.
The keys to the dying Brexit agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union
The effects of Brexit in Gibraltar will be neither immediate nor equal for everyone. This Tuesday, the Government approved a contingency measure that establishes a transitional regime in the workplace for workers affected by Brexit and that guarantees access to the Spanish unemployment benefit Europeans who travel daily to Gibraltar to work until December 31, 2022.
If there is no agreement, Spain will have to control the border with Gibraltar with “scrupulous observance” of all EU rules on external borders, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, responsible for the negotiation, has recently warned. All citizens who want to cross it will need a visa, “as in any third country”.
But there are exceptions, deadlines and transitional measures for cross-border workers and Gibraltarians, which will allow some normality for at least a few months, as long as there is reciprocity on the part of the British Government.
What will happen to cross-border workers?
Outside of the visa requirements, there are the 15,000 workers who cross the Gate every day who have registered as “cross-border workers” and, therefore, have a certificate that will allow them to move freely. In addition, they will be able to continue enjoying the same rights and working conditions that they had before January 1, 2021, points out an information leaflet prepared by Foreign Affairs.
– To be able to enter and leave Gibraltar freely with an ID or passport.
– Right to be treated under the same conditions as British citizens in Gibraltar in terms of salary and working conditions.
– Have guaranteed the benefits provided for in Gibraltar in terms of social security, unemployment, pensions and healthcare.
– Have the tax benefits provided for in Gibraltar law guaranteed
And the Gibraltarians?
The Government has approved a “transitional regime” with measures valid for a limited period of time and that require reciprocity from the British authorities, so they could be suspended within a period of two months if the Government of that country does not approve a similar that favor the Spanish.
Some of the measures that registered Gibraltarians can benefit from are:
– They will be able to continue practicing professions for which it is required to be a national of a Member State, they will keep their employment in the public administration and they will be able to continue researching in Spain without the need for new permits.
– Your driving licenses will be valid in Spain until June 30, 2021; The authorizations for weapons, explosives, pyrotechnic articles and cartridges will remain valid until their expiration if they have been granted before January 1, 2021.
– Continuity with conditions of certain financial services and the activity of transport companies between Spain and Gibraltar, as well as in the field of air and airport services is allowed.
– Access to the Spanish unemployment benefit is guaranteed to Europeans who travel daily to Gibraltar to work until December 31, 2022.
– They may continue to have the health system, the continued validity of the health cards of British nationals residing in Spain (until June 30, 2021) and the dispensing of prescription drugs issued in the United Kingdom.
– They will maintain the right to receive medical assistance in Spanish public hospitals when they move to Spain or if they reside in this country.
– Students from the education systems of the United Kingdom may continue to take advantage of the access procedures to the Spanish University for the academic year 2021-2022 under the same terms provided for students from the education systems of Member States of the European Union.
All these measures, however, are subject to reciprocity; If the Gibraltarian administration does not apply them, the Government may suspend them, according to Foreign Affairs.