MPs will be asked to vote again on Brexit on Friday but only on part of the deal negotiated with the EU. They will vote on the withdrawal agreement on the Irish backstop, divorce bill and citizens' rights. But it will not amount to a third meaningful vote on the deal, as it will not include a vote on the UK's future relationship with the EU.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has issued a plea for support as the showdown on her Brexit deal looms, warning the UK will be plunged into crisis if MPs reject the Withdrawal Agreement. In a stark message ahead of Tuesday’s Commons vote, the Prime Minister said “no-one knows” what will happen if her plan is defeated, with the possibility of Brexit being derailed completely.
Theresa May has promised to take a more “flexible, open and inclusive” approach to involve Parliament in negotiating a future relationship with the EU as she seeks to revive her Withdrawal Agreement.
The Government has noted the comments about Gibraltar made by the Foreign Minister of Spain this morning following a meeting of the General Affairs Council of the European Union.
The Chief Minister has immediately been in touch with the Prime Minister’s office in Downing Street.
The proposed Withdrawal Agreement published on Wednesday by the United Kingdom and European Union makes it clear that its terms, including the transitional period, will apply to Gibraltar. According to a release from the Gibraltar government “this was the number one priority of the Cabinet and of the Government and it has been achieved. It means that Gibraltar will not crash out of the European Union in March 2019 and that things will largely remain as they are until the end of 2020”.
Gibraltar will step up its contingency planning as from January 1, 2019, if there is no certainty of a Withdrawal Agreement and implementation period by that date, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo told an influential House of Lords select committee. Addressing the EU Select Committee, he also signaled his hope that Gibraltar, the UK and Spain could salvage elements of the Gibraltar negotiations even in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit between the UK and the EU.
Gibraltar, the UK and the EU are “moments away” from agreeing the terms of a protocol to include Gibraltar in any Withdrawal Agreement and transitional arrangements reached between the UK and the EU, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said on Monday.