Spain 'will vote no' to Brexit deal unless changes made

Frederick Owens
November 21, 2018

"Until we have the future declaration and we know what it says, whether we agree with it or not, we are not going to approve the withdrawal agreement", Borrell said.

Jeremy Corbyn said it would not have the backing of Labour, meaning May lacks enough Parliamentary backers to get the deal through.

In fact, he highlighted the surprise caused by a clause included in the draft Brexit agreement that postpones the future of Gibraltar to negotiations between the European Union and Britain.

"We, as a country, cannot assume that what will happen to Gibraltar in the future only depends on Britain and the European Union".

Gibraltar's first minister Fabian Picardo said yesterday it was "no surprise" to see Spain raising the Rock again at the last minute.

Mr Sanchez did not blame the United Kingdom or Gibraltar for the impasse, but rather pointed to European Union negotiators in Brussels.

In Brussels, EU spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the bloc agreed a year ago that "after the UK leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the UK may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom", a reference to the controversial Clause 24 of the EU's negotiating guidelines.

In London, May's spokesman said: "The draft withdrawal agreement agreed last week covers Gibraltar".

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A six-part clause creates three UK-Spanish committees to supervise cross-border workers, smuggling, environmental protection, law enforcement and border control.

The management of the migratory crisis in Europe, said the Spanish prime minister, also marks the agenda of its foreign policy and that is why it is necessary to strengthen relations with African countries such as Morocco, from where thousands of migrants leave to cross the sea and reach Spain.

The tiny British overseas territory is adjacent to the Spanish mainland, and has always been a point of contention between the United Kingdom and Spain.

And he added: " I don't like the word veto.

A referendum in the territory in 1967 saw 99.6% of residents vote to remain British.

Theresa May has shot down attempts to include Gibraltar in the Brexit talks as she insisted the British Government would "never" discuss a change in the sovereign status of the territory without permission from the local Government.

With the hours counting down to Sunday's summit to sign an accord on overseeing Britain's departure form the European Union, Spain has threatened to bring matters to a halt.

Gibraltar has a considerably higher GDP per capita than either the United Kingdom or Spain.

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