Spain wants an agreement with the UK on Gibraltar and driving licences that is comparable to the one before Brexit

UK driving licence in Spain

According to sources in the Spanish Foreign Ministry, they have faith that Liz Truss can secure a post-Brexit agreement that will benefit foreign nationals who reside in both countries.

The Spanish government has stated that it wants to establish a "new relationship" with the UK after Brexit and with the new Liz Truss-led UK government, in which a final agreement on Gibraltar is soon reached within the framework of the European Union as well as the best conditions are developed for citizens residing in the both countries.

There are two levels to UK-Spanish relations, according to diplomatic sources in Spain who spoke to the EFE press agency: the community level, where "it will be difficult to have a good relationship if the Brexit deal is not fulfilled," and the bilateral level, which has an impact on the many citizens who live in both countries.

According to the sources, Liz Truss, the next British prime minister, is "flexible in the positive sense of the term," and it is believed that she would negotiate Brexit and Gibraltar agreements in a "less flamboyant and strident" manner than did Boris Johnson. 

However, they remembered that Truss, who assumed office as the nation's leader just a few weeks ago, "embodies the spirit of Brexit," therefore no significant changes are anticipated in London's discourse.

Sources cautioned, however, that a deal must be reached quickly because the existing measures "are transient and dependent" and "cannot constitute a stable framework" for a long-term partnership. 

"We want individuals who were already residing here before to Brexit to have the same rights in terms of migration. We also want the situation for those who came after Brexit to be as close as feasible to what it was prior to Brexit, such as the recognition of driving licences, they said.

However, as of yet, they have disallowed establishing any firm deadline for reaching such an agreement.

The Spanish administration sees security, defence, and trade policy as the three cornerstones of the future bilateral relationship in addition to mobility.

London now has a new Spanish consulate

The sources added that the opening of a new Spanish Consulate in London could well be announced "very soon," taking the place of the outgoing one, which had been roundly criticised by the Spanish community in the UK and whose employees had gone on strike for weeks over pay issues, making it difficult for many Britons trying to travel to Spain to obtain visas.

They said that there is a 60 million euro digitalization plan funded by EU recovery funds that would help modernise Spain's consular services, saying that they hoped to have everything finished by the summer and be ready to reveal its location before then.

The bond between the two Royal Houses in the UK and Spain, as well as the sizable populations of nationals from each nation residing in the other, are seen by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as "two cards we have to play" in these upcoming relations with the UK. The sources also revealed that José Manuel Albares, the Spanish foreign minister, has scheduled a meeting with James Cleverly, the new foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, for their first ever bilateral discussion as part of the impending Spanish-British Talks.

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