EU Leaders Agree On Brexit Deal

EU Leaders Agree On Brexit Deal

EU Leaders Agree On Brexit Deal

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned that Britain can not expect to get a better deal, if its parliament rejects the agreement.

Barely half an hour after leaders sat down, European President Donald Tusk tweeted: "EU27 has endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relations".

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.

With all opposition parties and up to 80 Conservative MPs pledged to oppose May's deal when it comes to the House of Commons, Remainer ministers in her Cabinet are pushing for the prime minister to seek an alternative deal that would leave Britain with a closer relationship with the European Union after Brexit.

But he also had a warning for those in May's Conservative party as well as the Labour opposition who argue that a better deal can still be done before Britain leaves in four months if lawmakers deny her minority government support on Brexit.

Spain reached an agreement with the United Kingdom on Saturday over the status of Gibraltar.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had threatened to boycott Sunday's EU Brexit summit but now says he will go to Brussels and support the Brexit deal after London and Madrid agreed to direct post-Brexit talks over the future of Gibraltar.

But Mrs May told reporters in Brussels: "The UK's position on the sovereignty of Gibraltar has not changed and will not change".

Leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019 will mark "a new chapter in our national life", she said.

The deal now needs to be given the go-ahead by politicians here in the UK.

But Mr Picardo said the commitments from European Union states were political and not legally-binding.

DUP Arlene Foster

"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", he said.

Asked whether pro-EU MPs could help the United Kingdom stay in the EU by voting down the deal, Juncker replied: "I'm totally convinced that this is the only deal possible".

"I will recommend that on Sunday we approve the outcome of the Brexit negotiations", Tusk said in his letter to the bloc's leaders.

After failing to have the commitment included in the withdrawal agreement, Sanchez threatened to veto the Brexit deal without the letters.

Brussels officials said those essentially confirmed what most EU leaders had already understood - that Spain must have a binding say over how any future EU-UK trade pact might affect Gibraltar.

"There's a danger we end up through this transition deal of losing Gibraltar and Northern Ireland", he said.

Spain wants the future of the tiny territory, which was ceded to Britain in 1713 but is still claimed by Spain, to be a bilateral issue between Madrid and London. "I am quite sure we will have one".

The European Commission chief warned the United Kingdom parliament it should not count on any renegotiation ahead of Britain's departure in March, as European Union leaders on Sunday approved a landmark agreement on Britain's exit. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the deal - the product of a year and a half of often grueling negotiations between Britain and the European Union - was regrettable, but acceptable.

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". "I will make the case for this deal with all my heart", she added, declining to answer whether she would resign if parliament rejects it.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said anyone hoping for fresh negotiations would be disappointed within "seconds" if Parliament rejects the deal, while Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz added: "This is a take-it-or-leave-it situation".

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