LONDON (Reuters) – Gibraltar has extended port facilities to be able to handle more ships carrying goods as part of contingency plans if Britain leaves the European Union without an agreement, the British territory’s maritime minister said on Friday.
FILE PHOTO – The Union Jack, the Gibraltarian flags and the European Union flag are seen flying in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
With a population of just over 30,000 people and a land area of nearly 7 square kilometres, Gibraltar voted overwhelming to remain in the EU in Britain’s 2016 referendum.
There have been concerns that Gibraltar’s open land border with Spain would be affected by Brexit, especially given long- running tensions with Madrid.
Spain ceded the port at the mouth of the Mediterranean to Britain in 1713 after a war, but claims sovereignty over it.
Gilbert Licudi, minister with responsibility for port and maritime affairs, said that after carrying out infrastructure work, Gibraltar’s port could handle a greater volume from container ships and other vessels bringing in food and medicine.
He added that lorries Gibraltar could exit by ferry to the nearby Spanish port of Algeciras if administrative checks increased at t