Spain threatens to reject Brexit deal over Gibraltar

Spain’s government has threatened to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal over the thorny issue of Gibraltar.

Spain’s foreign minister said Spain would not back the plan at the European Council unless it received assurances  the deal would not apply to Gibraltar.

Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell said: “The negotiations between Britain and the EU have a territorial scope that does not include Gibraltar, the negotiations on the future of Gibraltar are separate discussions.

“This is what needs to made clear, and until it is clarified in the withdrawal agreement and in the political declaration on the future relationship, we cannot give our backing.”

Spain do not have the legal ability to veto the Brexit deal as settlement comes down to a ‘qualified majority.’

A UK Government spokesman said: “We are pleased to have agreed a protocol on Gibraltar, which will form part of a wider package of arrangements between the UK, Spain and the Government of Gibraltar that set out the parties’ commitment to cooperation.

“We and the Government of Gibraltar have had positive and constructive discussions with Spain on the Memoranda of Understanding that will underpin the protocol to the withdrawal agreement on Gibraltar.

“We are determined to reach agreement, and are very close. There are some issues remaining that we are confident of resolving.”

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