My Times Today. Pedro Sanchez spoke to his British counterpart on Wednesday night, and Mrs May subsequently said she was “confident that we’ll be able to agree a deal that delivers for the whole UK family, including Gibraltar”.
But in a late-night tweet on Thursday, Mr Sanchez appeared to disagree, writing: “After my conversation with Theresa May, our positions remain far away.
Mr Sanchez does not have the ability to “veto Brexit” or the 26-page withdrawal agreement, but any refusal to co-operate would undoubtedly sour the atmosphere at this weekend’s EU summit, where leaders from the trading bloc are aiming for consensus.
Under EU rules, the withdrawal treaty will be adopted a qualified majority instead of through a unanimous vote, meaning a single state cannot block it.
Spain wants any declaration on a new EU-UK relationship to make clear that any decisions about Gibraltar, a disputed British overseas territory, would only be taken in direct talks with Madrid.
An original clause in the draft deal said any post-Brexit agreement between the UK and the EU could only apply to Gibraltar if it was negotiated on a bilateral basis with Spain, but this clause has since disappeared from the final text.
The eleventh-hour objections may mean that the agreement is not ready until the last minute.Mr Picardo told Sky News: “I think everybody wants to achieve this very difficult thing consensus, and I think it will be possible to achieve that consensus and I certainly hope that it will be possible to do that in a way that doesn’t delay the summit on Sunday.”