Politics update: Spain accuses UK of ‘treachery’ as May defends Brexit deal at home

Politics Update 29.04.2019

Tory MPs and EU leaders raise objections to May’s deal

Brexit Resignations 15.11.2018

Theresa May must address concerns from both MPs within her own party and EU leaders in the next few days, as she works towards the leaders summit to finalise the Brexit deal on Sunday.

The prime minister addressed the Commons on Thursday, after it was announced that she and EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker had agreed on the political declaration, setting out the UK and EU’s future relationship.

However, she was met with criticism from all sides of the House of Commons, as MPs raised concerns with aspects of both the declaration and the withdrawal agreement.

The 26-page declaration document revealed on Thursday afternoon fails to guarantee frictionless trade, and has raised further concerns over future access to UK fishing waters by EU trawlers. Despite this, May tried to reassure the Commons that the UK would have “control over our waters.”

May will travel to Brussels to continue talks with Jean-Claude Juncker on Saturday, which has led several EU leaders to raise concerns that May could attempt to win further concessions on the deal, after the outcry from her own MPs.

Spain accuses the UK of ‘treachery’ over treatment of Gibraltar

Spain raised objections to Theresa May’s deal on Thursday night, accusing the UK of ‘treachery’ over its treatment of Gibraltar in the Brexit agreement.

Marco Aguiriano, Spain’s secretary of state for the EU, threatened to “stop the clock” on the deal over fears that Gibraltar would benefit from agreements made in the talks without Spain’s consent.

Aguiriano said: “We’re worried because this paragraph, which was introduced almost treacherously and under the cover of darkness, could be used by the UK in the future to argue that a future agreement between the EU and the UK could be applied to Gibraltar without necessarily requiring the prior agreement of Spain.

“The minutes that run through the night and into the hours of the early morning really count as the European council anticipates finishing its business. Or the clock could even be stopped and another European council could be called. That’s nothing extraordinary or surprising; in fact, it’s even fairly usual.

“This government … has shown very clearly what its position is: it will not agree to the withdrawal deal and the future declaration on Sunday if the question I have already outlined in great detail is not clarified.”

Corbyn calls political declaration “26 pages of waffle”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responded to Theresa May’s statement in the Commons yesterday, calling the political declaration “26 pages of waffle”, adding that the deal reached was the “blindfolded Brexit we all feared.”

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, Corbyn said: “This empty document could have been written two years ago. It’s peppered with phrases such as ‘the parties will look at’ ‘the parties will explore’, what on earth has the government been doing the last two years?”

What the papers say

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