British cabinet meets as DUP, Spain revs up pressure over Brexit deal

May's deal must be approved at an EU summit on November 25 before returning to the UK Parliament for a vote

May's deal must be approved at an EU summit on November 25 before returning to the UK Parliament for a vote

Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to keep her Brexit deal alive as she readies to return to Brussels for last minute negotiations.

Britain's embattled Prime Minister Theresa May hopes the declaration will convince sceptical lawmakers to approve her vision for the UK's departure from the bloc.

Extending transition is expected to cost up to £10billion a year in European Union subscriptions but is a possible way of avoiding using the controversial Irish border backstop.

As the countdown to the scheduled summit intensified, Chancellor Philip Hammond said that if the Brexit deal is rejected by Parliament it would unleash "political chaos" and could lead to European Union withdrawal not happening.

Although a vote was not legally necessary - ratification is only needed in the European Parliament and the British parliament - Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar wanted to show that politicians from all sides supported his position, the report noted.

If the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration are signed off at an European Union summit on Sunday, the prime minister will then turn her attention to getting the deal through the UK Parliament, where there is not thought to now be a majority in favour of it.

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Diplomats in Brussels said they thought Sanchez was trying to score points with voters before a high-stakes regional election in Andalusia on Dec 2.

But he said Mrs May's draft deal "would inflict long-term damage".

Her remarks appeared mainly aimed at Spain, which has raised concerns about the treatment of Gibraltar in the proposed text, and France, which is leading calls for improved access to British fishing waters.

Madrid is seeking to secure what it sees as its right to negotiate the future on Gibraltar with Britain on a bilateral basis after Brexit.

Spain has said it will not agree to the draft Brexit withdrawal deal without clarity over how talks on the future status of Gibraltar should be handled.

Spain's stance is opposed by both London and Belfast, where Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said a deal that took almost two years to negotiate "should not be changed now".

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If this will not be changed, you can end your support for the minority government of the Conservative party in Parliament, warned the DUP. "There isn't a majority in the House of Commons to allow that to take place".

The EU and the United Kingdom have reached a deal on their post-Brexit relationship, European Council President Donald Tusk announced on Thursday.

Opposition to the agreement is also building in the pro-Brexit camp.

A leadership challenge by May's own Conservative MPs failed to materialise, however, and when she gathered her new-look cabinet Tuesday they agreed to press on.

"This is what needs to made clear, and until it is clarified in the withdrawal agreement and in the political declaration on the future relationship, we can not give our backing".

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