Gibraltar will not fold over Spain’s Brexit demands, says minister

Gibraltar will not fold over Spain’s Brexit demands, says minister

"For the withdrawal negotiations, given there are some circumstances which are specific to Gibraltar, we held talks with Spain which directly involved the Government of Gibraltar", May's spokesman said.

At the summit on Sunday morning, the 27 EU leaders will be asked to approve a declaration specifically excluding Gibraltar from future EU-UK treaties - while leaving open the possibility that London could negotiate with Madrid on deals for Gibraltar.

"We're very clear, as the United Kingdom, that when we negotiate on these matters, we do so on behalf of the whole United Kingdom family including Gibraltar", she said.

'I am proud that Gibraltar is British and I will always stand by Gibraltar'.

Those assurances should form part of a brief statement agreed by the 27 European Union leaders and added to the minutes of Sunday morning's hour-long meeting before the 27 members meet with May.

Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva says that the original Brexit guidelines laid out a year ago that included assurances to Spain that it could deal with London directly on the issue of Gibraltar were "wise".

May said Friday that "we have been working with the government of Gibraltar and the government of Spain" on measures for Gibraltar. Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell said the written assurances was the country's most important global agreement since 1713.

"If this deal does not go through we are back at square one".

Meanwhile, the Telegraph said it has seen leaked Cabinet papers which suggest the PM is planning to "reframe the Brexit debate around migration" - by planning restrictions on low-skilled migrants coming to the United Kingdom - in a bid to attract the support of hard Brexiteers ahead of the House of Commons vote.

"In Parliament there's a lot of focus on who's going to vote for the deal or not, and outside I think people are thinking "Actually, let's make sure we can get this through and get on with delivering", she said.

Tory MP Mark Francois has written to Sir John mocking his honour
Tory MP Mark Francois has written to Sir John mocking his honour

Sir John, a long-standing sceptic about the UK's membership of the European Union, has been critical of the PM's Brexit deal.

"She has conceded that Gibraltar won't necessarily be covered by a future trade deal, simply another example of why what she has negotiated is completely unacceptable".

Housing and equality minister Ms Sacramento was standing in for Gibraltar's chief minister, Fabian Picardo.

"We have a promise, a commitment, from the British government saying they are ready to. guarantee that they will go along with the clarification we have requested", he said.

The Prime Minister also insisted there would be no opportunity to try and push for fresh concessions from the European Union side amid growing calls from Brexiteers to abandon plans for an Irish backstop.

And he concluded his address by comparing Sanchez, a fellow socialist politician, to former Spanish dictator, Franco.

Theresa May said the UK's position on the sovereignty of Gibraltar had not changed despite the row.

"I hope it will be solved by Sunday", she told German lawmakers.

But it's been a tortured path: 17 months of sometimes bitter negotiations, nonstop bickering within May's own leadership team, ongoing concerns about how to handle the border between EU-member Ireland and North Ireland, the resignation of a string of ministers including two Brexit secretaries, and a new vocabulary of Brexit-related puns and put-downs from British tabloids.

The European Securities and Market's Authority (ESMA) confirmed today that it will "adopt a temporary and conditional equivalence decision" to minimise disruption after London, the global derivatives market hub, exits the EU.

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