Gibraltar compromise clears the way for Brexit deal

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The 27 EU national leaders gathered Sunday to endorse both a detailed treaty setting out the terms under which Britain will leave the European Union and a declaration outlining how Britain can keep close to its biggest market by following many EU rules after a two to four year transition.

Spain wanted the future of Gibraltar, a territory on the southern tip of Spain that was ceded to Britain in 1713, to be an issue between Spain and Britain rather than Britain and the E.U. The agreement says that Madrid will be given a say on matters concerning Gibraltar when it comes to future trade deals.

The nearly 800-word message is an attempt to speak directly to the public to build support for her deal, which faces widespread opposition at Westminster including from both wings of her Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party which props up her administration.

"Some said it [Brexit] would not cost anything and it would actually bring about some positive financial elements for the United Kingdom", he said.

The move should allow European Union leaders speedily to sign off on the Brexit agreement at a special summit Sunday morning.

"To do that we need to get on with Brexit now by getting behind this deal", she said.

Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said the original Brexit guidelines laid out previous year that included assurances to Spain that it could deal with London directly on the issue of Gibraltar were "wise".

Deadline for civil service to trigger no-deal contingency planning, which is still a possible outcome.

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"I believe that the British government will succeed in securing the backing of the British Parliament".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said anyone hoping for fresh negotiations would be disappointed within "seconds" if Parliament rejects the deal, while Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz added: "This is a take-it-or-leave-it situation".

May said Britain had conceded nothing on the sovereignty of Gibraltar.

Spain - which had threatened to boycott the summit - will attend after a last-minute disagreement over Gibraltar was resolved on Saturday.

Theresa May says she will campaign "heart and soul" to get Brexit deal through Britain parliament.

Her aides say she is banking on the "fear factor", daring the House of Commons to vote down a deal which if rejected would leave Britain most likely crashing out of the bloc, its largest trading partner, without any agreements, which would be costly economically and would nearly certainly push the country into recession.

Sanchez wouldn't confirm that threat to skip the summit but said current "guarantees are not enough and so Spain maintains its veto on the Brexit deal".

His comments came as the Prime Minister travelled to Brussels with her Brexit deal under threat at home and overseas.

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Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake claimed the Prime Minister had "caved in" and "appears to have cast the people of Gibraltar aside".

Brexiteers think the agreement will leave the United Kingdom tied too closely to European Union rules, while pro-Europeans say it will erect new barriers between Britain and the bloc - its neighbor and biggest trading partner.

Theresa May said the UK's position on the sovereignty of Gibraltar has not changed following claims she caved in to Spanish demands for concessions over the future of the territory.

Parliament's vote could open the door to a "brighter future" or condemn the country to more division, she said.

The small DUP has an outsize role because its support has been crucial to May's shaky government, which doesn't enjoy a majority in Parliament.

May is under intense pressure from pro-Brexit and pro-EU British legislators, with large numbers on both sides of the debate opposing the divorce deal and threatening to vote it down.

The due to leave the European Union at midnight Brussels time on March 29.

She praised the deal struck "in an extremely hard situation, in a situation without any precedence because we haven't had it before that a European country leaves the EU".

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