In April 2018, Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis announced that Spain hoped to sign a bilateral agreement with Britain on Gibraltar before October so as not to hinder an interim Brexit deal. Talks between London and Madrid were well advanced. While reaffirming Spain`s long-term goal of «re-establishing» Gibraltar, he said Spain would not take Gibraltar «hostage» for EU negotiations.  One of these concessions was that the EU negotiating mandate clarifies that Gibraltar is not covered by the future EU-UK trade agreement to be concluded between London and Brussels. Reaching an agreement to preserve freedom of movement across Gibraltar`s border with Spain after Brexit goes into effect is «not easy, but still within reach, Prime Minister Fabian Picardo said.