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EU border guards could keep British tourists away from Gibraltar, Lord Cameron admits

Once through immigration, people arriving in the Rock would be able to travel on to the rest of the Schengen area – the parts of the EU without border controls – without further checks.

Gibraltar’s government is pushing heavily for a deal to end traffic congestion at the border with Spain, which is crossed by 15,000 workers a day.

But Eurosceptic Tory MPs have expressed concern that the government is trading away British sovereignty in the talks to reach a quick deal.

David Jones, the vice-president of the European Research Group, asked him whether EU officials could “deny access to the Rock”.

“In the future there would be two sets of checks – one through Gibraltar, one through Schengen – and if there was a Schengen alert that could be the circumstance,” Lord Cameron replied.

The scheme would also mean Brits traveling to the area will be subject to new EU fingerprint checks from this autumn.

‘Clear lines that we cannot cross’

Lord Cameron told the European Scrutiny Commission that the two sides were still hammering out terms and insisted he would not sign a bad deal.

“We don’t want to see anything that in any way diminishes British sovereignty over Gibraltar. There are some very clear lines that we cannot cross,” he said.

He added: “The people of Gibraltar care so passionately about their British sovereignty that the idea that they are going to sign a sell-out deal I don’t think is very sensible.”

It would mean that Britons could be denied entry to the territory on visa grounds if they had already spent more than 90 of the previous 180 days in the EU, even if they only wanted to visit Gibraltar.

Visitors can also be flagged if they are missing certain documents, such as proof that they have enough money to cover their stay, or if they have a serious criminal record.