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May to return to Brussels to seal deal

May to return to Brussels to seal deal

He said European Union leaders still have to endorse the draft declaration, which is due to accompany a draft of agreed terms for Britain's withdrawal from the bloc on 29 March.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says the agreement with the European Commission on the draft political framework on a future relationship represents the "right deal" for Britain.

However, the agreement does not address the issues of fishing rights and Gibraltar, which have raised serious concerns in European Union capitals.

The parliamentary arithmetic looks daunting for May, and if lawmakers reject the agreement in a vote expected next month, the United Kingdom would face a political crisis, with Brexit day looming.

May faced a storm of domestic opposition over the divorce terms announced last week, and her Northern Irish allies have stepped up their demands for a change in the arrangements for the British province.

It says: "The future relationship will be based on a balance of rights and obligations, taking into account the principles of each party".

But Tory backbenchers are more concerned about the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement which governs the UK's exit from the EU.

Sunday's summit is meant to conclude almost two years of complex and often acrimonious negotiations on how Britain and the European Union will function after their March 29 divorce.

She said the alternative to the agreement was either "more uncertainty, more division or it could risk no Brexit at all".

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The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), whose members represent nearly 800,000 workers across Ireland, insisted there was no such thing as a "good Brexit".

He added: "Sherpas are due to meet on Friday".

Madrid wants a veto over applying any agreement on post-transition relations to Gibraltar, while some European Union countries including France have voiced concerns about access to British fishing waters after Brexit.

A No.10 spokesman said that the Cabinet had already given its approval for the political declaration on Tuesday, but the PM held a conference call on Thursday updating them with the latest final version.

- Spain, N. Ireland pressure - May faces pressure from her Northern Irish allies, who oppose a deal they say weakens British sovereignty in their province, and from Spain, which warned it might oppose the accord over Gibraltar.

A last-minute complication arose this week when the Spanish government threatened to veto any agreement unless it received assurances on future negotiations over Gibraltar, a British outpost that Spain sees as rightfully part of its territory.

May was due to address lawmakers Thursday and also held talks with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose country holds the rotating European Union presidency until the end of the year.

Mrs May spoke with her Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez on Wednesday evening to try and deal with the situation. "My government will always defend the interests of Spain", Sanchez wrote on Twitter.


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