By Cassandra Elliott
With only four months until Britain leaves the EU, tomorrow’s summit is a big deal.
However, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez threatens to call off the summit if there is no agreement with the UK over Gibraltar.
He told the news conference, “if there is no deal, it’s obvious that what will happen is that the European Council will most likely not take place”.
Gibraltar is home to 30,000 people, whom overwhelmingly voted against Brexit, with 96% wanting to remain a part of the EU.
The leader of Gibraltar’s opposition party, Keith Azopardi says he’s disappointed in the Spanish government’s threat to vote against the Brexit deal unless the wording in the draft is changed to give Madrid greater control over the territory’s future.
This threat is added pressure for British Prime Minister Theresa May and 27 other EU leaders who hoped to use the meeting to sign off on the Brexit withdrawal and an accompanying political declaration.
Azopardi said, “anything that Spain does to upset the apple cart at the 11th hour is worrying, especially when Spain talks about excluding Gibraltar from a future relationship [between Britain and the EU]”.
If a deal is not struck at tomorrow’s summit, this could be one of the last chances if both sides are to ratify an agreement by exit day in March.