Gibraltar to tighten border controls after Spain brings in new ID checks ‘without warning’ | World | News

The Gibraltar government has accused Spain of suddenly introducing stricter border measures “without warning” – bringing the crossing to a standstill at the height of holiday season. It has promised to retaliate with its own tighter controls.

The tit-for-tat was sparked when Spanish border police increased scanning of passports and other ID documents, according to Gibraltar authorities.

The changes reportedly caused serious delays at the border crossing which prompted Gibraltar to warn it would respond in similar ways if Madrid did not give a satisfactory explanation.

On Friday, the British Overseas Territory claimed the Spanish border force had “without prior warning, initiated a new passport control regime”.

It added: “This, together with higher numbers of people crossing the border at the height of the summer tourist season, has caused lengthy queues and considerable inconvenience to thousands of people coming into Gibraltar, the vast majority of whom are actually Spanish.”

For more than two years, the UK and Spain have been in stagnant talks aimed at finding an agreement on the movement of goods and people in and out of Gibraltar after Brexit.

The frontier between Spain and Gibraltar should be a hard border with lots of checks but both governments say they want to keep fluid movement, especially for 10,000 Spanish workers who enter the Rock daily.

Responding to Gibraltar’s claims, Spain says it has not turned its back on its wish for a fluid border.

“There has been no change or alteration in the rules or procedures that underpin the checking of documents to enter or leave Spain,” a spokesman for Spain’s interior ministry told the Telegraph.

In its statement, Gibraltar said if Spain continued to slow down movement at the border, it would increase checks on Spanish workers’ ID cards as they enter the territory.

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