Merkel warns United Kingdom it can't dictate Brexit terms for European Union summit

Fredrick Soto
November 23, 2018

Spain maintains a claim to the tiny territory at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula, ceded to Britain in 1713.

Her remarks appeared mainly aimed at Spain, which has raised concerns about the treatment of Gibraltar in the proposed text, and France, which is leading calls for improved access to British fishing waters.

Many observers have said it is unlikely the British Parliament will vote in favor of the Brexit 585-page deal British Prime Minister Theresa May presented last week leaving open the question of how a no-deal Brexit would affect both the United Kingdom and the EU.

Pedro Sanchez telephoned Theresa May yesterday (Wednesday) and told her Spain would vote no to the agreement unless it states Madrid and London will talk exclusively about Gibraltar post-Brexit.

A draft of the political declaration has been sent to EU capitals for their endorsement.European Council President Donald Tusk said earlier.

Angela Merkel has threatened to pull out of a Brussels summit to approve a Brexit deal unless an agreement is ready in time for the meeting.

He said the text does not make it clear that future negotiations on ties between Brussels and post-Brexit Britain are separate from the Gibraltar issue.

The sit down was a prequel to a special EU summit on Sunday at which European leaders are expected to agree the final text of the 585-page Brexit withdrawal deal that May presented to her cabinet and the British Parliament last week. British Prime Minister Theresa May Fights Rebellion Over Brexit Deal.

Mrs May faced a strong push back from Spain over the status of Gibraltar in the "divorce deal".

"We want a deal that works for the whole United Kingdom family, and that includes Gibraltar", she said.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the European Union has done nearly all it can to reach a satisfactory agreement on Britain's exit from the European Union, and it is Britain where further discussions are most needed on the matter.

"Further progress has been made", May said in a brief statement after her meeting in Brussels with Juncker, but she added that "there are some further issues that need resolution".

Conservative lawmakers loyal to May also warned that defeating the agreement could mean that Brexit never happens, because Parliament would halt Britain's departure rather than accept a chaotic "no-deal" exit.

Risking the anger of Brexiteers, May refused to say whether there were any circumstances in which Britain would leave the European Union without a deal.

The Spanish foreign minister, Josep Borrell, said his government wanted a clear promise that no future trade or security deals would apply to Gibraltar without Spain's consent.

Opposition to the agreement is also building in the pro-Brexit camp.

The Irish government has previously said that its priority is to "protect the peace process, the Good Friday Agreement, citizens' rights and the common travel area".

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