Gibraltar – the major focus of Spain prevented the European Union on to finalise a draft Article 50 deal on Friday, November 23 to pave the way for endorsement of the document during the UK-EU27 leaders’ summit on Sunday, November 25. The complications over Gibraltar raised a wave of doubts of possibility to sign any withdrawal agreement already shrouded in pessimism.
Although EU diplomats are desperately trying to resolve the problem, continuing to search for rapprochement, the independent experts are increasingly skeptical about capacities of Pedro Sánchez Socialist government to accept a compromise.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has vowed to “veto Brexit” if the terms of the Brexit deal has no amendments depiciting Spanish concerns about negotiations over the future of Gibraltar.
“After my conversation with Theresa May, our positions remain far away,” Sánchez communicated in his Twitter microblog. “My government will always defend the interests of Spain. If there are no changes, we will veto Brexit.”
“We are an optimistic and a positive community, [but] there is growing concern amongst many in the community as to what positive measures have been secured for Gibraltar as a result of this process for which the Chief Minister and his team are said to have worked day and night on, for the last two years,” said Elliott Phillips, the Leader of the Opposition in Gibraltar.
Earlier the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo supported the UK government Brexit position, although he cricitised the decision to leave the EU as such.“Brexit is a bad thing for the whole of Europe,” Mr Picardo said.
“Brexit without an agreement for orderly agreed withdrawal would be even worse for the whole of Europe” Picardo continuded. “And for us, Brexit is as bad an idea today in reality as when it was in theory at the time of the Referendum.”
“But so for us, it is always best that we stick with Britain despite Brexit” he concluded.
Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party pledged to use its 10 votes in parliament to support the cause of Gibraltar if necessary.
The European Union is trying to reach a compromise between Madrid and London over the future of the British overseas territory to stop Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez from blocking an agreement on Artilce 50, paving the way to orderly withdrawal of Britons.
“Gibraltar is British and we will use our voices and our votes in parliament to stand with British Gibraltar,” Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds said, addressing the party’s annual conference in Belfast.