Spain’s prime minister has threatened to scupper Theresa Might’s Brexit deal – with a warning that “our positions stay far-off” on the difficulty of Gibraltar.

Pedro Sanchez spoke to his British counterpart on Wednesday night time, and Mrs Might subsequently mentioned she was “assured that we’ll have the ability to agree a deal that delivers for the entire UK household, together with Gibraltar”.

However in a late-night tweet on Thursday, Mr Sanchez appeared to disagree, writing: “After my dialog with Theresa Might, our positions stay far-off.

“My authorities will at all times defend the pursuits of Spain. If there aren’t any adjustments, we are going to veto Brexit.”

Pedro Sanchez, Spain's prime minister, is demanding changes to the Brexit deal


Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s prime minister, is demanding adjustments to the Brexit deal

Mr Sanchez doesn’t have the power to “veto Brexit” or the 26-page withdrawal settlement, however any refusal to co-operate would undoubtedly bitter the ambiance at this weekend’s EU summit, the place leaders from the buying and selling bloc are aiming for consensus.

Below EU guidelines, the withdrawal treaty can be adopted by a professional majority as an alternative of by means of a unanimous vote, which means a single state can’t block it.

Spain needs any declaration on a brand new EU-UK relationship to clarify that any choices about Gibraltar, a disputed British abroad territory, would solely be taken in direct talks with Madrid.

An authentic clause within the draft deal mentioned any post-Brexit settlement between the UK and the EU may solely apply to Gibraltar if it was negotiated on a bilateral foundation with Spain, however this clause has since disappeared from the ultimate textual content.

The eleventh-hour objections might imply that the settlement just isn’t prepared till the final minute.

Theresa May addresses the media



Might: ‘That is the best deal for the UK’

Gibraltar is a tiny 2.6 sq. mile (6.eight sq. kilometre) territory that’s dwelling to about 30,000 folks.

The territory’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, says he’s hopeful of a breakthrough quickly – with Mrs Might attributable to head to Brussels on Saturday for closing talks with European Fee President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Mr Picardo advised Sky Information: “I feel all people needs to attain this very troublesome factor by consensus, and I feel it is going to be doable to attain that consensus and I actually hope that it is going to be doable to do this in a means that does not delay the summit on Sunday.”

He additionally warned that he believes Brexit can be “unhealthy for Britain and unhealthy for Gibraltar”, including: “My view is that we shouldn’t be doing Brexit in any respect. But when the UK is doing Brexit, we’re doing Brexit too – as a result of what’s finest for Gibraltar is that we follow the UK.”

Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar's chief minister, thinks Brexit is 'bad for Britain'


Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s chief minister, thinks Brexit is ‘unhealthy for Britain’

Spain just isn’t the one main impediment for Mrs Might, who’s enduring an uphill wrestle to win the assist of her personal MPs.

On Thursday, she confronted hostile criticism from outstanding Conservative backbenchers and the Democratic Unionist Get together (DUP) in a dramatic Commons showdown.

It took 39 minutes of debate earlier than her first optimistic response to the most recent settlement, with Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn describing it as “26 pages of waffle” that amounted to a “obscure menu of choices”.

Mrs Might’s critics in Westminster have been lining as much as demand that she removes a central a part of the withdrawal treaty: the Irish backstop.



MPs line as much as criticise PM’s Brexit deal

Iain Duncan Smith known as for the backstop, which might maintain the entire of the UK in a customs union if a free commerce settlement can’t be negotiated by the top of 2021, to be “stripped out” – warning “none of that is in any respect workable”.

Dominic Raab, who give up as Brexit secretary final week, added the “regrettable however inescapable actuality” of the backstop was that it “offers much more away” to Brussels.

And the DUP, which is propping up Mrs Might’s authorities, gave her an ultimatum.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the occasion’s chief whip, advised a silent Commons: “If she needs to have the assist of my occasion… then we have to see an finish of the backstop.”

Different MPs – Conservative, Labour and SNP – pushed the case for an additional referendum if parliament rejects Mrs Might’s deal, however she mentioned that the general public don’t need to be requested: “Would you prefer to assume once more?”

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