29th September 2023
Pedro Sánchez and Theresa May
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Spain says it won’t oppose Brexit delay

Spain has said it would not oppose a delay to Brexit as touted by British Prime Minister Theresa May to avoid crashing out of the European Union without a deal on 29 March.

In a speech to parliament, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said however he wanted any postponement of the deadline to yield concrete results.

‘Although Spain will not oppose granting a possible extension, this must have an assured perspective of resolution,’ he said.

‘Prolonging uncertainty by postponing deadlines is not a reasonable alternative nor is it desirable.’

The EU has been watching with growing concern the political machinations in Britain and the possibility that the country will crash out of the bloc without a deal, risking chaos on both sides of the Channel.

ALSO READ: UK outraged at EU’s Gibraltar ‘colony’ reference

Sánchez said that Madrid was ‘willing to modify … the (political) declaration to make it more ambitious if the United Kingdom modifies the red lines it has set for negotiations.’

Pedro Sánchez and Theresa May
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez with British Prime Minister Theresa May during an EU leaders summit in Brussels on 18 October 2018. (Ben Stansall / AFP)

He was referring to the declaration that sets a roadmap for negotiating close EU-UK trade ties during a transition period after Brexit.

European Council President Donald Tusk said Monday that an extension to the March 29 deadline would be a ‘rational solution’ given political developments.

May on Tuesday promised to allow parliament to delay Brexit after threats of mass resignations from her ministers, in a dramatic reversal of her strategy.

On Wednesday, she is due to ask lawmakers to approve a three-step plan that could give her more time to attempt to rework the draft divorce deal struck with the European Union.

Under the new plan, if she fails to come up with a Brexit deal that wins MPs’ support by 12 March, May will swiftly call further votes on what happens next – including on Britain leaving the bloc without any deal and on postponing Brexit.

She stressed that any extension would be short, ‘not beyond the end of June’.

ALSO READ: Gibraltar rebuffs talk of joint sovereignty

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