ANDALUCÍA'S regional presidential candidate has struck a deal with far-right outfit Vox to enable him to govern in coalition with centre-right Ciudadanos, signalling a complete about-turn in strategy for the...
Spain 'will not renegotiate' Theresa May's Brexit deal, warns Sánchez
SPAIN'S president Pedro Sánchez has warned the UK government he will 'not renegotiate' the Brexit deal presented by Theresa May, whether or not she loses the no-confidence vote due to be cast this evening (Wednesday) at 18.00 mainland Spain time.
Using his speech this afternoon to refer obliquely to Catalunya, Sánchez said the Brexit vote has 'taught us valuable lessons we need to learn from', including 'strengthening democracy in the face of lies'.
For the Spanish president, both Brexit and the Catalunya independence bid are 'phenomena which are following parallel paths based upon fallacies', and his spokeswoman Adriana Lastra says Brexit and Catalunya are 'the consequence of irresponsible policies being pushed forwards'.
Sánchez already stated a few months back that he felt Theresa May should call a 'second' referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union – although in practice, this would be a third referendum, since the first was in 1974 when Britain voted to join.
He does not support Brexit, although he feels it may provide opportunities for Spain and the rest of the EU – as has been seen with the shifting of European medicines, banking and space associations to the continent – and says if Brexit really is on the cards, Mrs May's deal is 'the only one possible' as it 'safeguards citizens' rights'.
But Sánchez warns the UK to 'be prepared' for a no-deal scenario; although he promised Spain would 'help out where it could' if this were to be the case.
“As you all know, the British Parliament has postponed the vote on the deal, but Spain's position is not going to change,” Sánchez said in Congress today.
He blamed Theresa May's predecessor, ex-Conservative leader David Cameron, for calling the referendum on June 23, 2016: “His decision has plunged the UK into a disconcerting situation.”
Both Sánchez's party, the PSOE and their political allies, Podemos, say Brexit is the result of 'a rise in the far right' in Europe, and Podemos' leader Pablo Iglesias said it has come in response to 'a lack of alternatives to anti-social policies'.
Although Iglesias supports Sánchez's stance – particularly concerning Gibraltar, whereby Spain is required to have a say on any issues affecting its policies, trade or economy – he says Theresa May's deal is 'not a good one'.
It 'puts the interests of big fortunes before those of the ordinary people', Iglesias says.
Alberto Garzón, leader of United Left, also considers Brexit to be a symptom of the 'rise in the far right' in Europe, and fears the UK's departure may also be a clear sign of 'the EU's process of falling apart'.
By 'falling apart', he means the increase in the presence of alt-right political parties – something Spain has escaped since the end of Franco's dictatorship until now.
The alt-right independent party Vox has just gained 12 seats in Andalucía's regional government out of a total of 110, although this is the only one of 17 regions where it currently has a foothold, meaning the threat does not seem to be as great as in other parts of Europe.
Right-wing PP leader Pablo Casado and centre-right Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera have both accused Sánchez of 'missing an opportunity' to get Spain's claws deeper into Gibraltar – despite the Gibraltarians having always expressed their wish to remain British – but neither alluded to the consequences of Brexit or any other aspects of Theresa May's deal.
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