Spain prime minister has been threatened on the issue of Gibraltar

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.”

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Fri Nov 23 , 2018