European Union leaders approve terms of Brexit deal

European Union leaders approve terms of Brexit deal

However, even if the European Union agrees to the deal, it needs to be passed by the UK Parliament. Those who think that by rejecting the deal that they would have a better deal will be disappointed the first seconds after the rejection, " Juncker warned.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her feelings were "ambivalent, with sadness but on the other hand also some kind of relief that we made it to this point".

Spain threatened on Monday (19 November) to block the Brexit deal as the Article 184 was included "from a day to another", Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said after a meeting of the Article 50 General Affairs Council.

Meanwhile the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority government, threatened towithdraw their support for the Conservatives if the deal is agreed by the United Kingdom parliament.

Speaking from Brussels, Mr Macron said that the exit of a major member state for the first time in the bloc's history showed "Europe is fragile" and the European Union "is not a given".

In an open letter on Sunday, May promised to put her "heart and soul" into winning over MPs and voters to the merits of her deal, which she has previously said she believed "with every fibre of my being" was the right one.

It was reported this morning that Remain-leaning Cabinet ministers have begun secret talks on a Brexit "Plan B" if the deal is rejected by parliament.

Spanish objections over the status of Gibraltar — the tiny territory ceded to Britain in 1713 but is still claimed by Spain — is the only dispute left hanging ahead of Sunday's summit of European Union leaders.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned Theresa May she can not expect to get a better deal if MPs vote down her plan.

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EU spokesman Preben Aamann said on Twitter that after a phone conversation between Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez and EU Council President Donald Tusk, "we are closer" to a deal ahead of the Brussels summit, when EU leaders are supposed to sign off a divorce agreement between Britain and the EU. The British leader is under intense pressure from pro-Brexit and pro-EU British lawmakers, with large numbers on both sides of the debate opposing the divorce deal and threatening to vote it down when it comes to Parliament next month.

"The government of the United Kingdom has been completely firm in its resolve and in our support", Mr Picardo said.

The British Prime Minister has now said that withdrawal issues with Gibraltar had been worked through in an "constructive and sensible way". He said it would greatly reduce Britain's influence and ability to make independent trade deals.

Britain remains deeply divided over the decision, but the prime minister said that finally leaving could be "a moment of renewal and reconciliation". He told reporters that the deal was "the best possible", but the summit "is neither a time of jubilation nor of celebration". "But I think what all of my colleagues will be doing is thinking about what is in the national interest".

What's to follow if a vote in British Parliament doesn't set the Brexit plan in motion is still unclear.

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

Those who know May say she never thought Brexit could be a glorious rebirth.

Arriving at the summit, the EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he hoped the agreement would "build trust" between the two sides and pave the way for an "unprecedented and ambitious" future partnership.

Under EU rules, the withdrawal treaty is adopted by qualified majority and not unanimity, so a single state can not block it. EU leaders, however, seek unity on this most politically sensitive matter.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said on Saturday that she would be willing to support a Norway-style soft Brexit as long as it prevented any new border and custom controls between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

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