UK Expecting EU-Wide Support for Brexit Deal Despite Gibraltar Impasse

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech at the CBI annual conference in London on Nov. 19 2018

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez meanwhile, insisted he would vote against the draft deal unless he wins assurances over the disputed peninsula of Gibraltar. "The proposed agreement is both a necessary compromise and workable; leaving without a deal is neither".

"The support of this house for the draft withdrawal agreement, I am sure will send a strong signal ahead of the European Council on Sunday that Ireland is behind this deal fully", Ireland's Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Tuesday that his government "cannot accept that what will happen to Gibraltar in the future depends on negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union".

The Northern Ireland party whose 10 members of parliament back May's government does not plan to withdraw its support yet despite opposition to her withdrawal deal, its leader said on Wednesday.

Madrid has a long-standing claim on Gibraltar, which was ceded to the British crown in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht.

Ambassadors from the EU's 27 remaining countries had been due to be briefed on the final text on Tuesday but the meeting has been re-scheduled for later this week.

Negotiations to secure an orderly Brexit deal will go down to the wire after Theresa May said she would return to Brussels for more talks on the eve of a planned signing summit.

"If the deal is not approved by parliament, we will have a politically chaotic situation ..."

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The transition period, which Britain and the European Union hope will begin once Britain leaves the European Union on March 29, can be extended "for up to one or two years", according to the draft declaration.

"If we had a no deal we'd find ourselves having to find a deal very quickly, so why put our countries and people through that when we have a deal on the table?" he asked. They accuse May of making too many concessions to the European Union, while others oppose Brexit altogether.

Conservative lawmakers loyal to May also warned that defeating the agreement could mean that Brexit never happens, because Parliament would halt Britain's departure rather than accept a chaotic "no-deal" exit.

The draft foresees dropping the requirement for banks to justify why they're ending a contract with a highly-paid employee deemed to be "bearers of risk", such as heads of department or high-volume traders.

EU leaders are due to ratify the draft divorce deal at a European Council meeting on Sunday but Spain said this week that it can not support the agreement unless it is given a clear veto on Gibraltar's inclusion within the negotiations on the future relationship.

Most in the European Union are determined to get the deal over the line despite outstanding issues, with one diplomat saying: "There is plenty of negotiating time left to achieve that".

However, the joint political declaration on future relations - still being drafted - would only set out the shape of the UK's trading relationship with the remaining 27-nation bloc, without any legal commitments.

The PM has faced a strong pushback from Spain over the status of Gibraltar in the "divorce deal", while France is understood to have sought amendments to wording on fishing rights in United Kingdom waters.

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