Blog: Spain Wants Deal With Uk On Gibraltar And Driving Licences Similar To Before Brexit – Murcia Today

Date Published: 19/09/2022

Spain wants deal with UK on Gibraltar and driving licences similar to before Brexit

Sources in Spanish Foreign Ministry say they trust in Liz Truss to provide a post-Brexit deal that will benefit expats living in both countries


Diplomatic sources in Spain explained to the EFE press agency that there are two levels to UK-Spanish relations: one, at the community level, in which “it will be difficult to have a healthy relationship if the Brexit agreement is not fulfilled”, and the bilateral level, which especially affects the many citizens living in both countries.


The sources stressed that the new British PM Liz Truss, is “flexible in the good sense of the word”, and hoped that reaching a deal on Brexit and Gibraltar would be “less showy and vehement” than with her predecessor, Boris Johnson.


Nevertheless, they recalled that Truss, who took over the leadership of the country just a couple of weeks ago, “embodies the spirit of Brexit”, so no major alterations are expected in London’s discourse.


Nevertheless, sources warned that an agreement must be found as soon as possible, because the current measures “are temporary and contingent” and “cannot be a stable framework” for a long-lasting relationship.


“In terms of movement, we want the same rights for those who were already living here before Brexit. And for those who arrived after Brexit, we want the situation to be as similar as possible to what it was before Brexit, for example, with the recognition of driving licences,” they added.


As yet, though, they have ruled out setting any definitive timeframe for such an agreement to be reached.


Alongside mobility, the Spanish government considers security, defence and trade policy to be the three pillars of the future bilateral relationship.


New Spanish consulate in London


The sources also stated that “very soon” the opening of a new Spanish Consulate in London could be announced, to replace the previous one, which was highly criticised by the Spanish community in the UK and whose workers spent weeks on strike over a pay dispute, causing visa and travel issues for many Brits looking to get to Spain.


“Between now and the summer we hope to have everything finalised, and that we will be able to announce its location before then,” they explained, before adding that there is a 60-million-euro digitalisation plan thanks to EU recovery funds that will serve to modernise Spain’s consular services.



And the sources explained that the Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, has arranged to meet his new counterpart, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, for their first bilateral meeting in the framework of the upcoming Spanish-British Talks.


Image: Liz Truss / Twitter

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