Spain rocks the boat with demand for Brexit veto over Gibraltar

Gibraltar has become the latest flashpoint in the Brexit process More

Spain has threatened to block the Brexit deal if it does not get a veto over how any future trade deal applies to Gibraltar.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier defended the deal as "globally" fair and balanced.

"Future negotiations on Gibraltar are separate negotiations".

"Until we have the future declaration and we know what it says, whether we agree or not, we are not going to approve the withdrawal agreement either", Borrell said.

"Future negotiations on Gibraltar are separate negotiations".

A Downing Street spokesperson, meanwhile, has ruled out any concessions on Britain's part saying that "The draft withdrawal agreement agreed last week covers Gibraltar".

The withdrawal agreement includes a protocol on Gibraltar but is only applicable until the end of the transition period (December 2020).

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"We want the interpretation of that clause to be clarified", he said.

According to a special clause that Spain had included in the European Council's Brexit guidelines previous year says that "no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom".

The divorce deal sets up a new UK-Spanish oversight committee to manage ties across the border after Brexit.

According to Article 184 of the draft divorce deal, "the European Union and the United Kingdom shall make every effort, in good faith and with full respect for their respective legal systems, to adopt the measures necessary to negotiate rapidly the agreements governing their future relationship".

Britain said it would not exempt Gibraltar or any other British territory from the agreement in what may put the two countries on a collision course ahead of the weekend summit. Addressing business leaders at a conference on Monday, she said: "I am confident that we can strike a deal at the Council that I can take back to the House of Commons".

"It has no place in the modern Europe of today at a time when both the United Kingdom and Gibraltar are trying to build a new positive future relationship with the European Union".

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