Spain hopes to sign off on a bilateral agreement with Britain over Gibraltar before October so as not to hinder a Brexit transition deal, as well as joint use of the airport, Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis told Reuters yesterday.

Failure to reach an agreement on Gibraltar, a could disrupt a planned 21-month transition period for Britain following its official withdrawal from the European Union on March 29, 2019.

Gibraltar is due to leave along with the United Kingdom on that date, though 96 percent of its population voted in the 2016 referendum to remain in the EU and the territory is anxious to preserve free movement of people across its border with Spain.

Dastis said he hoped the bilateral accord on Gibraltar could be signed off before October and form a part of that final deal, which is also expected to comprise a framework for future trade relations between the EU and the United Kingdom.

Talks are centering around possible joint use of Gibraltar airport and a more comprehensive sharing of fiscal data between Britain and Spain for Gibraltar residents to prevent tax avoidance.

Spain has sought joint use for the airport on two previous occasions.“It seems to us a good idea to make a third attempt. You could apply the saying ‘third time lucky’,” he said.