Spain's Sanchez warned against torpedoing Brexit deal with Gibraltar ...

SPAIN'S fruit and vegetable sector could be in for a heavy blow if Pedro Sanchez's government scuppers a Brexit trade deal with sovereignty claims over Gibraltar.

PUBLISHED: 19:24, Thu, Oct 29, 2020 | UPDATED: 19:55, Thu, Oct 29, 2020

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Growers and exporters across the Mediterranean country would be hit with customs duties of £189million every year under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. The industry relies heavily in the UK market to sell its goods and fears Britain will shun its fruit farmers for those in Morocco under a trade pact signed by the two nations.

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Spain and Gibraltar want to reach a side deal with the UK to avoid having a hard EU border in southern Spain after the Brexit transition period expires on December 31.

But a Spanish diplomatic source claimed they were up against "a lack of political will" in London.

The source said any deal aimed at creating a "shared prosperity zone" in Gibraltar, a British territory over which Spain claims sovereignty, was unlikely before a full trade deal between the UK and the EU.

But as negotiations between Michel Barnier and David Frost continued in Brussels on Thursday with no breakthrough in sight, the prospect of deal between Spain, Gibraltar and the UK remained in doubt.

pedro sanchezPedro Sanchez could scupper a Brexit trade deal with his sovereignty claims over Gibraltar (Image: GETTY)

boris johnsonA Spanish diplomatic source said there was a 'lack of will' fin the UK for a deal with Spain and Gibraltar (Image: GETTY)

Last October the UK signed a continuity trade agreement with the Moroccans which ensured “tariff-free trade of industrial products together with liberalisation of trade in agricultural, agri-food and fisheries products” after Brexit.

This means growers in the North African nation will enjoy much freer access to the UK market than their Spanish counterparts will on January 1 if

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