By Raf Casert and Jill Lawless | AP November 24 at 9:37 pm BRUSSELS – The European Union seemed close…
BRUSSELS – The European Union seemed close to reaching an agreement with Spain to facilitate Madrid’s concern over the future of Gibraltar in a draft Brexit agreement, a major obstacle to Sunday’s summit in EU
EU spokesman Preben Aamann told Twitter that after a phone call between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and EU Council President Donald Tusk, “we are closer” an agreement before the Brussels summit when EU leaders are scheduled to sign a divorce agreement between the UK and the EU.
The small territory of Gibraltar – ceded to Britain in 1713, but still claimed by Spain – was the only dispute that hung in front of the summit and had turned into an unpleasant trip
On Friday, Spain said it would not go back to the divorce agreement , if it does not get a cast iron safety for its statement over Gibraltar’s future.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, on his way to Brussels, hopes to leave Brussels on Sunday with a definitive agreement to withdraw Britain’s resignation from the EU on March 29 and a comprehensive negotiating text on how future relations should look when both parties agree a trade agreement.
May was expected to meet with EU-President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council chairman Donald Tusk on Saturday night.
Winning warm greetings from her 27 leaders on Sunday may be much easier for May today than getting such treatment from her conservative party colleagues when she returns.
With the 585-sided withdrawal agreement discussed among negotiators and a vague statement on future relations, both ready to be rubber-stamped on Sunday, Spain delayed the demand for Gibraltar to take its center.
Portugal’s Foreign Minister said on Saturday he supported the Brexit deal, including Spanish request for his statement on the future of the disputed British territory of Gibraltar. 19659014] Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said that the original Brexit guidelines presented last year included insurance to Spain that could handle London directly on the question of whether Gibraltar was “wise”.
France has also referred to the strong wording of last year’s guidelines as a starting point for compromise.
At home in Britain, Mays continued plans for Brexit to settle.
The Vice-President of the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland used a conference speech for the party to try to persuade her to change course Saturday
Nigel Dodds told the Belfast conference that her proposed Brexit agreement reached with the EU would leave Britain in a “pitiful and pathetic place”.
The little DUP has an extremely important role because the support has been crucial to Mays shaky government, which does not have majority in parliament.
The party is threatening to end its support over the Brexit plan that is preferred in May. This would mean that May is already a difficult challenge to win parliamentary support for its proposal.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.