The Spanish border authorities, without prior warning, initiated a new passport control regime at the frontier yesterday.
The new practice entails the scanning of a significant number of passports, including those held by Gibraltar resident red card holders and even of some Spanish nationals. Reports suggest that some ID cards are also being scanned.
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.
The Government has already sought clarification from Spain and the United Kingdom is similarly to seek clarification.
In the event that no explanation is forthcoming, or that the explanation is unreasonable in all the circumstances, His Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar will act reciprocally, incrementally as from next week.
This means that cross frontier workers who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement should ensure they have valid travel documents available for inspection on entry into Gibraltar. Those who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will have to demonstrate this through the daily provision of valid travel and identity documents also.
The Government deeply regrets this situation which follows the action taken by Spain for which no explanation has yet been received.
The Government will not hesitate to implement new passport and ID card scanning, and other measures if necessary, for non UK nationals, as well as implementing new queuing protocols, if no changes are forthcoming.