Spain has said an EU summit on Brexit this weekend could be called off unless an agreement is reached with the UK over Gibraltar.
Sky News reports that the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told a news conference on Friday: “If there is no deal, it’s obvious that what will happen is that the European Council will most likely not take place.
“The threat adds pressure on Theresa May, who hopes to sign off a Brexit withdrawal deal and an accompanying political declaration at the meeting with the other 27 EU leaders on Sunday.
Spain asks for changes to both the draft withdrawal treaty and the accompanying declaration on future ties to spell out that any decisions about Gibraltar would only be taken together with Madrid.
The EU leaders would expect to endorse the treaty and approve the declaration by consensus at Sunday’s summit – meaning Spain in effect has the power to hold up the process.
Mr Sanchez added that the current “guarantees are not enough and so Spain maintains its veto on the Brexit deal.”
“If there’s an agreement, we’ll obviously go.”
An original clause in the deal Britain drew up with the EU gave Spain its guarantees – but that has since disappeared from the final draft.
Reuters is saying: As negotiations among Spanish, British and EU officials wore into Saturday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he was ready to thwart his British counterpart May’s hopes of seeing EU leaders sign off on promises of close ties with London after Britain leaves the bloc in March if he did not get his way. Brussels diplomats and representatives of other governments across Europe said they did not believe Madrid would upset the careful choreography of Sunday’s summitry, when May and her 27 EU peers will fly in for a couple of hours in the morning. But they also heard strong words from Spanish ministers that left them unwilling to call Sanchez’s bluff without further talks.
POLITICO is saying: Spain’s prime minister said he fully intends to veto the Brexit deal if no agreement on Gibraltar can be found.And he warned that if there’s no agreement, the European Council on Sunday “will most likely not take place.”