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May To Head To Brussels For last Minute Talks Ahead of EU Summit As Spain Threatens To Block Deal
The countdown is on for the UK PM as she scrambles to try and finalize a Brexit deal ahead of the all-important EU summit being held this weekend. May has announced that she will return to Brussels this weekend, ahead of the Sunday summit, for last-minute talks to secure the best terms and resolve any outstanding issues with the agreement.
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Talks Failed To Find Agreement
The announcement comes on the back of a two-hour meeting this week between May, her senior ministers, and EU officials.
While the terms of the deal have reportedly been agreed upon on a technical basis between the EU and the UK, the document is currently under review by member states ahead of the Sunday summit aimed at finalizing the terms of the deal.
However, Spain is challenging the terms of the agreement due to the ongoing dispute between the UK and Spain over the future of Gibraltar, the disputed territory currently under British rule. The Spanish PM has voiced his outrage over the fact that the agreement makes no reference to the future of Gibraltar and has said that “If this is not solved by Sunday, Spain, a pro-European government, will, unfortunately, have to vote ‘No’.
May Remains Optimistic
A spokeswoman for Theresa May told reporters:
“She said there had been good engagement between the UK, the government of Spain and the government of Gibraltar in order to come to an agreement on the withdrawal agreement and associated package of memoranda of understanding relating to Gibraltar. She said that the UK and government of Gibraltar looked forward to these discussions continuing as we discuss the future relationship. The Prime Minister reiterated her commitment to agreeing a deal that works for the whole UK family including Gibraltar, the other UK overseas territories and the crown dependencies.”
However, even if May can iron out these issues with Spain and secure the approval of all EU member states, her biggest battle is yet to come as she still has to have the deal approved by a final vote in her own parliament.
GBPUSD is rallying strongly today as the market is choosing to take an optimistic view of proceedings, expecting that all EU member states will approve the Brexit deal on Sunday. For now, GBPUSD remains with the descending triangle pattern which has framed price action over the last few months and likely to continue to do so until we get news of the outcome of the EU summit on Sunday. Approval by the EU will be a big boost for GBP though with the crucial UK vote still ahead, we might not see that range break just yet.