Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Theresa May's Brexit plans are back on track with the European Union after the U.K. prime minister agreed Saturday to meet Spain's demands regarding the territory of Gibraltar.
A summit planned for Sunday was in jeopardy when Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at the last minute threatened to boycott the gathering of the 27 EU members because he wanted guarantees how the British territory off Spain's southern coast would be treated after Great Britain's planned departure from the EU.
Spain will have veto power over Gibraltar benefiting from a future trade and security agreement between the European Union and the British government.
May's government, insisting Britain would always stand by the territory, issued a legal statement that met Spain's demands.
"I'm proud Gibraltar is British and I will always stand by Gibraltar," May said to the media, arriving in Brussels, Belgium, for talks Saturday. "The U.K.'s position on Gibraltar has not changed and will not change.
"We have negotiated on behalf of Gibraltar, they are covered by the whole withdrawal agreement and by the implementation period," she said. "In the future we will continue to negotiate on behalf of the whole U.K. family and that includes Gibraltar."
"I will recommend that on Sunday we approve the outcome of the Brexit negotiations," Tusk said in his letter to the bloc's leaders. "We intend to work resolutely towards building the best possible relationship with the UK after Brexit, as friends and partners."
Sanchez wanted a guarantee that Gibraltar wouldn't be included in any future trading negotiations between the European Union and Britain.
"To the Spanish people I say we have taken a decisive, determined step forward and we have absolute guarantees to resolve a conflict that has lasted more than 300 years," Sanchez told a news conference in Madrid.
Negotiations have been going for 17 months regarding Britain's departure from the EU.
The British Parliament must still approve the 585-page withdrawal agreement by a March 29 deadline -- and May's decision on Gibraltar has angered leaders across the political spectrum.
Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat's Brexit spokesman, said: "The prime minister has caved in once again. In a desperate bid to get her disastrous deal across the line, May appears to have cast the people of Gibraltar aside.
"This is a day of shame. The only way to sort out this chaos would be through a People's Vote, with the option to remain in the EU."
Clare Moody, Labor's minister for Gibraltar, said: "What is remarkable is that Theresa May has gone to Brussels to concede further text at this stage, before we've even left."
And Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative minister, said: "It appears that there is no-one the prime minister will not betray to achieve her sell-out deal."