Spain has threatened on Friday with the cancellation of the EU summit scheduled for Sunday in Brussels to seal a deal on the UK’s divorce from the EU, if it does not get “guarantees “on the future of Gibraltar after Brexit.
These demands are the last remaining obstacle to the unanimous approval of a comprehensive deal by EU leaders on Sunday as negotiators have finalized both a “withdrawal treaty” from the UK and a “political declaration” outlining post-conflict relations. -Brexit between London and the EU.
“If there is no agreement (on Gibraltar), it is clear that what will happen is that the European Council will most likely not be held,” said Friday the head of Havana the Spanish government Pedro Sanchez, saying that the “guarantees are not yet sufficient” and that therefore Spain “vetoes the agreement on Brexit”.
Madrid demands a veto over any future negotiations on the future of Gibraltar, a British enclave in southern Spain claiming sovereignty.
The Spanish Secretary of State for European Affairs Luis Marco Aguiriano, who came to Brussels on Friday, called for a “written” pledge. “We demanded that this text be published by the British” before the summit, he told reporters.
– No veto –
“We do not intend to reopen the withdrawal agreement but we will work with the governments of Gibraltar and Madrid on our future relationship,” a spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said earlier. London.
Intense negotiations took place on Friday to resolve the latter problem, several diplomatic sources said.
Several sources interviewed by AFP felt that Spain did not have a “right of veto” over the Brexit agreement. “This is a political issue, not a legal one: it would be a real problem for the 27 that a big country like Spain disassociates Sunday from the approval of the divorce agreement,” said a source European.
One of the other issues that continued to be a problem in recent days, that of the future fishing rights of Europeans in British territorial waters, was “solved”, said a diplomatic source after the high-level meeting held on Friday in Brussels.
This issue, which has not been settled in the treaty of withdrawal, should be the subject of a separate text “in the minutes” of Sunday’s summit, according to a diplomat.
“Things are moving forward, we see light at the end of the tunnel,” said another diplomatic source.
– May Saturday in Brussels –
Theresa May is due to meet on Saturday evening in Brussels with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk on the eve of the summit.
“This is a final adjustment visit, to stall together the political messages that will be issued publicly Sunday,” said a diplomatic source. There will be “no question of negotiating anything”.
The EU and the United Kingdom managed to agree Thursday on the “political declaration” that sets the framework for their post-Brexit relations, especially at the trade level.
Last week, they had reached an agreement on the “withdrawal treaty” of the United Kingdom, a text of nearly 600 pages, which detracts ties for more than 40 years of membership of the United Kingdom.
This text settles the question of the bill that London will have to pay to the EU, without quantifying it, and provides for a controversial solution to avoid as a last resort the return of a physical boundary between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Apart from a “minor change” in the “political declaration”, representatives of EU countries gathered Friday did not change these texts, according to a diplomat.
At the summit on Sunday, if it takes place, the leaders of the 27 and Theresa May must endorse a global agreement. If they succeed, all will not be completed so far: the divorce agreement will still have to be ratified by the European Parliament and especially British.