The UK Government advertised on March 7, via the Linkedin website, a job vacancy for the post of Governor in Gibraltar and, in the job description, it admitted that the chosen candidate could “face a further period without a negotiated outcome” in talks with the EU, adding, therefore, that “the territory could go through a period of change”.
The text of the job advertisement on Linkedin warns of the future complications that the new British Governor in Gibraltar could face, as the role entails direct responsibilities for the defence of the territory and internal security (including policing) and foreign affairs, as well as the appointment of several key officials and also being the guarantor of the “good governance” of Gibraltar’s local administration.
The job post reads: “The UK, with Gibraltar, is negotiating with the EU on Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU.
“Whilst we expect those negotiations to be complete by the start of this posting, there is also the chance that we will face a further period without a negotiated outcome.
“The territory could be going through a period of change as it adapts to a new relationship.”
“Gibraltar’s location,” continues the UK ministry’s announcement, “means security issues remain a strategic priority. Under the Gibraltar Constitution, the Governor (and ultimately the UK) holds competence over defence and internal security issues, so you will lead on assessing and mitigating potential threats to Gibraltar and UK interests, working closely with MOD, Commander British Forces (CBF) Gibraltar and the Government of Gibraltar.”
It continues: “You will chair, jointly with the Gibraltar Chief Minister, the Gibraltar Contingency Council, leading on the defence and security aspects of Gibraltar’s resilience.
“As Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, you will work closely with CBF, supporting his objectives to ensure a modern agile military presence in Gibraltar.”
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While a free trade deal was struck between Britain and Brussels in 2020, Gibraltar’s own future has been the subject of drawn-out negotiations with little progress.
Madrid pushed to seize more control over the Rock by putting forward plans to eradicate border posts between Gibraltar and Spain.
The proposals would see the Rock effectively become a part of the EU’s Schengen zone that allows for free movement across the continent.
In return, Spain would take control of the territory’s borders.
Madrid continues to claim it has ownership of Gibraltar despite ceding it to Britain in 1713.
Spain has been repeatedly accused of attempting to use Brexit to wrestle control of the small 2.6 square mile area, despite the majority of Gibraltar residents supporting remaining under the jurisdiction of the UK.
Britain and the EU set a deadline of the end of 2022 in order to give a hard end date to talks.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega