The Latest: Germany says Brexit questions can be resolved
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s exit from the European Union (all times local):
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman says Germany believes that outstanding questions about the Brexit deal will be cleared up in time for a special European Union summit to go ahead on Sunday.
Spain has warned that it will oppose a declaration on future relations with Britain if it isn’t guaranteed a say over the future of Gibraltar, though it doesn’t have a veto on the actual withdrawal agreement.
Asked Friday whether it’s possible that the summit might not go ahead, Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said: “We assume that open questions can be cleared up by Sunday. That is being worked on intensively, so the chancellor is preparing for the trip to Brussels.”
Germany’s finance minister says Berlin still hopes for a regulated British exit from the European Union but that the country is also prepared for the possibility of a Brexit without a negotiated deal.
Olaf Scholz, who is also the vice chancellor, was quoted by the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper Friday as saying that an unregulated Brexit would be bad for everyone, and hit the British the worst.
But, he says, “we are preparing ourselves very carefully for both variants, the controlled and the uncontrolled Brexit. Both present us with challenges, but we can and will manage them.”
European Union diplomats are meeting to finalize the draft divorce agreement between Britain and the bloc, amid a warning from Spain that it will oppose the deal if it isn’t guaranteed a say over the future of Gibraltar.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted that Britain and Spain “remain far away” on the issue and “if there are no changes, we will veto Brexit.”
Spain wants the future of the tiny British territory at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula to be a bilateral issue between Madrid and London.
Spain doesn’t have a veto on the withdrawal agreement, which does not have to be approved unanimously. But it could hold up a future free-trade deal between Britain and the EU, which would require approval of all 27 EU nations.