BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, arrives in Brussels on Wednesday to try and agree on a blueprint…
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, arrives in Brussels on Wednesday to try and agree on a blueprint of Britain’s post-Brexit band with the European Union, as the bloc diplomats said was held by disagreements over Gibraltar, fishing and commerce .
PHOTO PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 1
0 Downing Street via the backbone in London, UK, November 16, 2018. REUTERS / Peter Nicholls
All EU leaders are scheduled to meet on Sunday because the rubber-stamped Brexit agreement, which consists of Britain’s recall agreement and an overview of the two sides’ new relationship after Britain left the EU.
The fate of the transitional agreement is uncertain. British legislators increase the fight for resignation, with some trying to open the way for the country to change courses.
While the EU tries to discourage Britain from renegotiation of the nearly 600 pages of dense legal text constituting the divorce agreement, some of the remaining 27 Member States also have problems with it.
Attempt to address these issues in ongoing talks about the document that will describe future links; National EU Envoys from the 27 states met in Brussels on Tuesday.
“Work still needs to be done on three aspects: fish, goods and Gibraltar,” said a diplomat at the meeting, held before May’s conversation with Jean-Claude Juncker, Chief Executive Officer of the EU. “Juncker and May will try to sort it out tomorrow.”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez threatened Tuesday to vote against the overall Brexit agreement on Sunday, unless it is apparent that the future of the disputed British territory of Gibraltar would be resolved through direct talks between Madrid and London.
“Spain has a very real problem in Gibraltar,” said another diplomat.
Many in the EU political hub, Brussels, said they thought Sanchez tried to score with the voters at home before a threatening domestic election.
They believed that the issue could be resolved by the leaders and warned Madrid not to push as far as possible to put the entire Brexit agreement in danger.
“We are following the latest developments with increased concern,” said a third EU diplomat after Madrid said it would like to change the already negotiated divorce agreement.
“Nobody wants to resume the recall agreement, which would lead to the whole Brexit agreement to crumble and lead us all to someone’s country.”
A EU-wide withdrawal treaty is adopted by qualified majority and not unanimity, so formally a only state like Spain does not block it. EU leaders, however, seek unanimity in the agreement.
With the fate of the preliminary Brexit agreement, which is still far from clear, both sides have also developed their contingency plans for the most harmful scenario under which Britain should crash out of the EU without any agreement.
Another diplomat who participated in Tuesday’s meeting said that Britain sought a light flow of goods after Brexit that was too close to what only bloc members enjoyed.
“The United Kingdom wants free movement of goods, which they will not get because it’s back to discuss partial access to the single market, which we do not,” said the person.
In addition, France has demanded more guarantees for future access to Britain’s rich fishing waters, which London wants to hold under control after Brexit.
EU members with ongoing issues to be resolved try to either address them through the negotiated plan, or through separate EU statements that should not formally be included in the agreement with the United Kingdom. France has encountered such extradictions while Germany opposed them, saying that the focus should be on completing the draft of future EU-UK relations.
Following May’s meeting with Juncker, EU delegates will meet to discuss the approximately 20-page drawing on Thursday, and then the leader’s negotiator will look at it again at a meeting scheduled on Friday two days before the summit.
Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Alastair Macdonald, Jan Strupczewski, Editing Rosalba Brien
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