The European Commission will next week put forward a mandate to negotiate a post-Brexit relationship with Gibraltar that would bring Frontex agents to its territory to avoid a hard border with Spain.
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located at the southern tip of Spain. Madrid and London reached a preliminary agreement on 31 December 2020, hours before the UK left the European Union, to keep the Gibraltar land border open.
The goal – by keeping Gibraltar in the EU’s passport-free Schengen area – was to avoid a hard border that would affect almost 10,000 Spanish workers who cross daily from Spain and represent a vital pillar of the Rock’s economy.
Once endorsed by the Council, the mandate will kick off negotiations between the EU and the UK to agree on a treaty to cover the British overseas territory, and exclude it from the EU-UK post-Brexit bill.