The UK and Spain reached an agreement Saturday over the status of Gibraltar once the UK has left the European Union.
The accord over the British territory paves the way for approval by 27 EU governments at a summit Sunday on the withdrawal terms of the UK from the bloc next year.
“I have just told the head of state, the King, that Spain has reached an agreement over Gibraltar,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told reporters in Madrid.
He said the agreement excludes the territory from the general negotiation between the EU and UK and “will allow Spain to negotiate directly with the UK over Gibraltar.”
Spain “will vote tomorrow in favor of Brexit,” Sanchez said.
Gibraltar, a rocky outcrop that adjoins the southern coast of Spain, voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. It is surrounded by the Spanish region of Andalusia that will soon hold regional elections, and Spain’s territorial claim to Gibraltar threatened to scupper Sunday’s summit.
“The unwavering commitment of the UK that it will negotiate future trade and other arrangements with the EU that work for all of the British family of nations, including Gibraltar,” the government of Gibraltar said in a statement.
“Throughout our history we’ve stuck with Britain,” said Fabian Picardo, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar.
The deal of the terms of withdrawal is opposed by the minority partner in the UK government, the Democratic Unionist Party.