By Joe Gerrard • 20 November 2018 • 19:00
SPAIN has emerged as the latest threat to the British Prime Minister’s European Union (EU) Withdrawal Agreement as she begins the task of marshalling support for the deal at home.
EU member states have closed ranks since a draft agreement was reached, but Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez threatened to sink the deal over Gibraltar.
“As things stand today if there are no changes regarding Gibraltar, Spain will vote no on Brexit,” Sanchez said.
Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has asked the EU to clarify provisions for Gibraltar in the deal.
Madrid reportedly wants to continue talks over the British enclave’s future, which Spain claims sovereignty over, between the two countries rather than at an EU level.
The threat comes as Prime Minister Theresa May struggled to sell her draft agreement to sceptical Brexit hard-liners in her own party and Parliament as a whole.
The cabinet officially backed the deal but her Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and others resigned in protest over it.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up May’s minority government in the House of Commons, said they would not back the deal as it stands.
Several Conservative Members of Parliament committed to a ‘hard Brexit’ have said they will vote May’s deal down.
Jeremy Corbyn said it would not have the backing of Labour, meaning May lacks enough Parliamentary backers to get the deal through. Her only hope would be to win over Labour MPs in leave-supporting seats and from the party’s right.
Didier Reynders, the Belgian Foreign Minister, said: “Here the deal will survive. We are waiting for the same situation in London.”
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said the deal was fair and balanced.
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