Factbox: Can EU states block Brexit deal?

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Spanish prime minister’s threats to dam a Brexit deal this week over Madrid’s claims to Britain’s tiny territory of Gibraltar on the Spanish coast has raised questions of veto dangers for the bundle.

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter exterior the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March eight, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

Here is the place the risks lie, and why they’re restricted:


This treaty between the EU units phrases for Britain’s exit on March 29, together with a 21-month establishment transition interval. A textual content was agreed by EU negotiators and British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government final week. The European Council of the 27 nationwide leaders is because of give its political endorsement at a Brussels summit on Sunday at 10 a.m. (0900 GMT) earlier than holding a gathering with May to display the dedication of each side.

Were Spain or another government to interrupt ranks and refuse to endorse the textual content on Sunday, the method could be held up by that lack of consensus and additional negotiation is perhaps wanted. However, EU officers to not imagine that’s in any respect probably.

In half, that’s as a result of all governments will have had the possibility to resolve issues throughout conferences of their envoys in Brussels and a gathering on Friday amongst leaders’ “sherpa” aides.

After the summit, May will submit the treaty to a vote within the British parliament. Passage there’s unsure.

Once the Council provides its consensus endorsement, the treaty will go to the European Parliament. It is unlikely to withhold consent however is not going to resolve till its British counterpart votes.

To turn out to be legislation, the treaty should return to the Council. Under Treaty Article 50, it could possibly be voted down if a minimum of eight states, representing 35 p.c of the EU inhabitants, object. In actuality, approval needs to be a rubber-stamp course of by March.


Alongside the 585-page exit treaty, leaders are on account of give their political approval to 20 or so pages of a declaration of intent on their future relationship with Britain. May is because of meet EU chief government Jean-Claude Juncker afterward Wednesday and diplomats hope that may finalise a textual content to be accepted by EU nationwide envoys on Thursday and leaders’ sherpas on Friday.

The declaration will lay out ambitions for a deep free commerce deal and shut cooperation on safety and world affairs.

As with the treaty, anybody would possibly break consensus however that is unlikely. Officials ought to make sure that leaders have a textual content they will approve in what’s deliberate as a short one-hour summit.

The European Parliament will contemplate its consent to the treaty alongside consideration of the political declaration.


Once Britain has left, the 2 sides will begin negotiating a brand new relationship on the premise of the political declaration, within the hope of getting one thing prepared by the point the transition ends.

The different 27 member states have been pitching contradictory nationwide calls for for the longer term with Britain. EU officers anticipate divisive points to be put to 1 facet to achieve consensus on the declaration. These will then play right into a mandate which the Council of member states provides to Juncker’s negotiators, who intention to hammer out a treaty with Britain that each one 27 will settle for.

Once the European Commission has negotiated the treaty, it’ll carry it again to the Council which once more will have to present is consensual political endorsement. Consultation with states throughout the negotiations ought to restrict last-minute blow-ups.


Once the longer term treaty is endorsed by the Council, it should get the European Parliament’s consent. If a treaty encroaches on areas past Brussels’ remit and into “national competences” — funding guidelines, for instance — it’ll additionally want ratification by lawmakers in all 27 EU states, a possible stumbling block. For that motive, the 2 sides may resolve to barter two or extra treaties, limiting the quantity that want wider ratification.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald ; @macdonaldrtr; Editing by Gareth Jones

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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