21 Mar, 2018 @ 11:11
1 min read

SPAIN-ER IN THE WORKS: Brexit ‘breakthrough’ deal at risk after Madrid tables fresh Gibraltar demands

Mariano Rajoy
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Rajoy

SPAIN has threatened to scupper the Brexit transition deal by putting forward fresh Gibraltar demands.

In a dramatic last-minute intervention Spain said it may not approve the new text worked out between British and EU negotiators.

EU Council chief Donald Tusk was forced to write to leaders telling them that finalising an agreement on the pact ‘remains open’.

The Polish eurocrat said: “I still need a couple more hours to consult with some of the most concerned Member States.”

An EU diplomat told The Sun: “Spain is playing hardball.”

It comes after the UK conceded on fishing rights and immigration last weekend in a bid to seal the deal.

David Davis and Michel Barnier after Brexit ‘breakthrough’

But the ‘Brexit breakthrough’ has been put in jeopardy by Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy who protested that a footnote describing his veto over a transition deal applying to Gibraltar was not marked as ‘signed off’.

The Spanish leader is now demanding that a separate Council declaration is drafted re-emphasising it, a request some member states are reluctant to go along with.

Top EU negotiator Michel Barnier and British Brexit secretary David Davis published a colour-coded chart on Monday showing the progress in different areas of the talks.

Green, which covered 75% of the text, indicated signed off passages, yellow a partial agreement and white areas of divergence.

And although none of the footnotes were coloured in, an asterisk linked to Spain’s Gibraltar demands was shaded green.

A Eurocrat told the Sun that Donald Tusk will probably have all issues ironed out by 1pm today.

He said: “Before Tusk can recommend to the leaders ‘please do welcome that agreement including on transition’ Member States should have a chance to look at it.”

Meanwhile, Bulgarian minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said the bloc would show ‘solidarity with Spain’ and warned: “Of course, until the end nothing is sure.”

 

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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