Press release

UK welcomes Commission’s statement on Gibraltar-Spain border

Minister for Europe says EU Commission is “making strong recommendations to the Spanish government to improve the situation” in Gibraltar.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


David Lidington, the Minister for Europe, has today welcomed the European Commission’s announcement of clear recommendations for Spain to improve the functioning of the Gibraltar-Spain border and follow up within six months. The Minister said:

Unacceptable border delays of up to four hours continue to impact on peoples’ lives in and around Gibraltar. It is right that the Commission is making strong recommendations to the Spanish government to improve the situation, and I welcome their commitment to follow up within six months. We and the Government of Gibraltar have said for years that there are simple measures Spain could and should take, such as increasing the number of lanes and resources at the border, to improve border functioning. I fully expect the Spanish government to act on Commission’s recommendations.

The fact that the Commission has hinted at a possible future visit further demonstrates their ongoing concern. It is unsurprising that the Commission found insufficient evidence that Spain is breaking EU law, as the Spanish checks were significantly reduced during the Commission’s visit. We remain confident that the Spanish government has acted – and continues to act – unlawfully, through introducing disproportionate and politically motivated checks at the Gibraltar-Spain border. And we will continue to provide evidence of that to the Commission.

Further information

Letter to UK Government from the European Commission regarding the Gibraltar border crossing at La Línea de la Concepción, 15 November 2013 (PDF, 63KB, 2 pages)

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Published 15 November 2013