Spain threatens to reject draft Brexit deal over Gibraltar

Spain threatens to reject draft Brexit deal over Gibraltar

Spain threatens to reject draft Brexit deal over Gibraltar

Josep Borrell told Politico: 'I am very much (more) anxious about the unity of the United Kingdom than the unity of the Kingdom of Spain.

As a country we can not assume that what is going to happen with that territory depends only on the British negotiations with the European Union bloc, as it is something that Spain must discuss directly with the United Kingdom, stressed the executive chief.

Borrell warned on Monday that Spain would not sign-off the Brexit deal without changes to the withdrawal agreement's provisions on Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory on Spain's south coast.

Gibraltar, a tiny British territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, has always been a point of contention between the United Kingdom and Spain, with Madrid asserting a claim to the territory despite it being ceded to the Brits centuries ago after being captured from Spain.

Spain maintains a claim to Gibraltar after it was ceded to the British crown under the 1713 Treaty Of Utrecht, and through the Brexit negotiations Spain has conducted separate talks with the United Kingdom government over the future of the border.

Speaking to Raw Politics, Mr Tremosa said: "All the Spanish Governments have been, since the Franco regime, using Gibraltar for electoral purposes".

"It does not come as a surprise that Madrid should seek to raise new Gibraltar issues at the last minute on our negotiations to leave the EU".

Spain threatens to reject Brexit deal over Gibraltar

"The negotiations between Britain and the European Union have a territorial scope that does not include Gibraltar, the negotiations on the future of Gibraltar are separate discussions", said Spain's foreign minister Josep Borrell.

Spain ramped up Brexit tensions today by jibing that the United Kingdom will "split apart before we do".

"We know how hard the discussions are in Britain, but I can say for Germany that we will agree to this exit agreement", Merkel told German lawmakers on Wednesday during a budget debate.

This seems to be enough for British negotiators, who insist that the Withdrawal Agreement covers Gibraltar.

Therefore, Sanchez said, if this agreement does not change before the extraordinary summit to be held this Sunday, Spain will vote against the deal.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she has made progress in Brexit negotiations at talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, but that outstanding issues remain.

Spanish officials feel that their cooperative attitude on other issues gives them a strong base to make this claim.

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