Britons visiting Gibraltar told to present passports while Spaniards won't in latest Brexit blow

Tthe Rock of Gibraltar as seen from the sea. Photo: Ben Birchall / PA

Tthe Rock of Gibraltar as seen from the sea. Photo: Ben Birchall / PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Britons visiting Gibraltar after Britain leaves the Brexit transition period will need to present their passports while Spaniards will not, reports claim.

The British Overseas Territory could be entering Europe's Schengen Zone from next year meaning visitors not from the area will be forced to furnish their passport upon arrival.

Negotiations between London and Madrid over the territory's status after Brexit have been running alongside negotiations on Britain's future relationship with the EU.

Gibraltar, which has a population of less than 34,000, welcomes 15,000 Spaniards who cross the border every day to work there.

That has given the Spanish government a firm say on the shape of any trade deal affecting the island and can veto terms it finds unsatisfactory. 

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The Schengen Zone, which does not include the UK, enables EU citizens to freely travel, work, and live in any EU country.

The new status could mean flights from the 26 member nations will be prioritised over those from the UK.

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At the weekend, Gibraltar's chief minister Fabian Picardo said "a Schengen-style agreement would be the most positive" and said he was grateful to the Spanish government for its efforts in trying to find a solution.

"We are just a few phrases away from a historic agreement," Picardo said.

Talks are understood to be continuing on the matter while negotiations are also ongoing between the UK and the EU on a post-Brexit trade deal.

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