No Gibraltar deal, no Brexit summit, Spain's PM says


The deal now needs to be given the go-ahead by politicians here in the UK. "Those who think that by rejecting the deal that they would have a better deal will be disappointed in the first seconds after the rejection of this deal".

Asked if he would seek a discussion over joint sovereignty once Britain leaves the bloc on 29 March, 2019, he said: "We will discuss all issues".

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said Germany believed outstanding questions would be cleared up in time for Sunday's summit to go ahead.

The terms of the UK's withdrawal have been under negotiation since June 2016 following a referendum, in which 52 percent voted for Brexit.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May's minority government, said it would try to block the deal because it binds London to many European Union rules and the DUP fears it may weaken the province's ties to Britain - a result of efforts to avoid a risk of a "hard border" with European Union member Ireland. "It is a sad moment, a tragedy".

Mr Raab said the current agreement was unlikely to be passed by the Commons, and that ministers should contemplate a no deal.

But nothing in the negotiations has gone smoothly and the summit risked being derailed by a late objection to the deal by Spain over the British territory of Gibraltar.

In an open letter to the nation, May said she would campaign "heart and soul" to get her Brexit deal through Britain's parliament - an increasingly unlikely prospect given stiff opposition from some of her own Conservative Party lawmakers and allies in Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) alike.

"EU27 has endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relations", Tusk said after less than an hour of the leaders' summit.

"I think this is the best we can all do - both Theresa May and her Government as well as the European Union".

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country is one of Britain's closest trading partners, praised May's handling of the hard negotiations and said he was confident that she could see the deal through parliament in the coming weeks.

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European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the compromise reached was the result of "solidarity, determination and dialogue".

Forged during 17 months of tough negotiations, the deal covers financial matters, citizens' rights, Northern Ireland and a transition phase, and sets out hopes for future security and trade ties.

But the concessions are likely to only increase nervousness in Britain, where she is under significant pressure from both Brexiteers and Remainers over the deal she has hashed out with European leaders ahead of Britain's departure from the bloc in March.

"I recognize some European leaders are sad at this moment, but also some people back at home in the United Kingdom will be sad at this moment", she told reporters.

Winning warm greetings from her 27 fellow leaders on Sunday might be much easier for May these days than getting such treatment from her colleagues in government and Parliament once she returns.

"We will always negotiate on behalf of the whole United Kingdom family, including Gibraltar", Mrs May said.

"The legal text of the draft withdrawal has not been changed", he said.

Leaders will vote on Sunday.

Britain´s Prime Minister Theresa May addresses media representatives after Brexit talks at EU Headquarters in Brussels on November 24, 2018.

Brexiteers believe it is highly unlikely that the European Union will, in fact, negotiate a mutually beneficial trade agreement during the transition, as either extending it or resorting to the backstop - which Britain is not allowed to leave without the EU's permission - are already so lopsided in its favour.

Santos Silva says the impasse has an "easy resolution because the heads of state of the 27 had already agreed (.) that any agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union regarding Gibraltar would require previous agreement from Spain, and that appears to be a very wise line".

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