May Heads to Brussels as Spain Threatens Brexit Summit
British Prime Minister Theresa May was headed back to Brussels on Saturday to defend the planned Brexit divorce deal even as Spain threatened to boycott an EU summit meant to endorse it, reported AFP.
May has final day talks scheduled with EU leaders Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, although diplomats said the withdrawal agreement is finished and ready for EU leaders to approve on Sunday.
Nothing in the painful 17-month withdrawal process has gone smoothly, and on Friday, Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned he might not attend if the leaders do not acknowledge that Madrid holds a veto over the fate of Gibraltar in any post-Brexit negotiation of new EU-UK ties.
Visiting Cuba, Sanchez said that Madrid must be allowed to negotiate directly with London on Gibraltar and give its specific assent to any changes to its relationship to the European Union in a future agreement between Britain and Brussels.
"If there's no agreement, it's very clear what will happen, there very probably won't be a European Council" summit, he said.
Gibraltar, a tiny rocky outcrop home to a port and around 30,000 people, is a British territory claimed by Spain and will be a bone of contention as London negotiates a new relationship with Brussels after Brexit day on March 29.
Luis Marco Aguiriano Nalda, Spain's secretary of state for European affairs, said Madrid wanted London to put in writing that it shared Madrid's interpretation of the negotiated Brexit deal texts regarding its stance on Gibraltar.
"We have demanded that it be published by the British authorities before the European Council on Sunday," said in Brussels.
In London, however, a Downing Street source...