Gibraltar becomes part of the Schengen Area – Nightmare of a border closure with Spain stopped at last minute
The British exclave of Gibraltar will be part of the Schengen area in the future.
The airport and seaport of Gibraltar will become the new EU external border in the far southwest of Europe.
„Schengen will be applied to Gibraltar, with Spain as an EU member state taking responsibility,“ Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya is quoted as having said. Then people will be able to freely cross the land borders between Spain and Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is not covered by the Brexit agreement just concluded between the EU and the United Kingdom. There was therefore a threat of a hard Brexit, which could have led to a largely closed border.
The head of the Gibraltar government, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, had therefore also vehemently campaigned for Gibraltar to join the Schengen area.
With good reason. Spain and Gibraltar are closely linked economically.
Every day, about 15,000 commuters from the Spanish border town of La Linea cross the border into Gibraltar to work there. Without the Spanish, Gibraltar’s infrastructure would collapse.
In addition, Spain exports goods worth about 1.5 billion euros to Gibraltar.
Gibraltar depends on open borders not only because of its internationally oriented services sector, but also because of the millions of tourists who visit the Rock every year.