Brexit timeline: European Union leaders APPROVE Brexit deal - what happens next?

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after a press conference following a special meeting of the European Council to endorse the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement

"Those who think that by rejecting the deal that they would have a better deal will be disappointed in the first seconds after the rejection of this deal".

The UK is expected to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019.

But demands that extensive treaty documentation recently agreed between Brussels and London be tweaked to give Spain a bigger say over its implementation in regard to Gibraltar face resistance from Britain and European Union allies who are wary that the whole edifice of the long-negotiated deal might unravel.

Both Remainers and Leavers in the British Parliament are warning that May doesn't have the necessary support with the all the opposition parties lined up against the deal and as many as 100 lawmakers, Remainers and Leavers among them, from May's ruling Conservatives pledging to vote against it as well.

In an open letter on Sunday, May promised to put her "heart and soul" into winning over MPs and voters to the merits of her deal, which she has previously said she believed "with every fibre of my being" was the right one.

"To do that we need to get on with Brexit now by getting behind this deal".

After threatening to veto the Brexit agreement and boycott Sunday's EU Summit, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Saturday that he will back the Brexit deal.

The deal must still be ratified by the European Parliament, something parliament President Antonio Tajani said would likely take place early in 2019.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez had threatened to veto the deal at Sunday's summit after claiming it reneged on a previous commitment over the future of 'the Rock.' While he failed to get the substance of the deal changed, he climbed down from his position on Saturday afternoon after receiving written assurances from the United Kingdom government and European commission. It took leaders a matter of minutes at a summit in Brussels to endorse a withdrawal agreement that settles Britain's divorce bill, protects the rights of United Kingdom and European Union citizens hit by Brexit and keeps the Irish border open.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Britain's Brexit vote showed Europe needed reform.

The decision in Brussels clears the way for the deal to be put to parliamentarians in Brussels and at Westminster, where the Prime Minister faces a hard job getting it past her own MPs.

Theresa May, who met with Mr Tusk and the presidents of the European Parliament and Commission on Saturday evening, was not present but will join the summit later on Sunday morning.

Gibraltar deal clears way for Sunday Brexit summit
Brexit: Donald Tusk tells European Union to approve deal

DUP leader Arlene Foster told the Times that Mrs May's deal would be a worse outcome than a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

She said that Brexit could be "a moment of renewal and reconciliation".

Mrs May said: "We have ensured that Gibraltar is covered by the whole Withdrawal Agreement and by the implementation period and we will always negotiate on behalf of the whole United Kingdom family, including Gibraltar, and in the future relationship we will stand up for their interests".

Although several countries have expressed their sympathies for the Spanish case, at the same time, both the Commission and the other counties pointed that there was not much room for changes in the text.

"I think we managed to make a diplomatic piece of art", she said.

Arriving at the summit, the EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he hoped the agreement would "build trust" between the two sides and pave the way for an "unprecedented and ambitious" future partnership.

In a bid to lighten the mood, Tusk tweeted to say he was taking inspiration from Queen for Sunday's proceedings.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that members of her own cabinet and European Union diplomats are secretly working on "plan B" proposals, fearing lawmakers will reject the current deal.

"Secondly, the British government has recognized this issue in writing", he continued, speaking from La Moncloa prime ministerial palace.

In her conference speech, DUP leader Arlene Foster said: "The reality is that if we are to secure a better outcome than is now on offer, then the only option is to look beyond this current draft withdrawal agreement and work in the time ahead for an improved outcome".

"Unless we junk this backstop, we will find that Brussels has got us exactly where they want us - a satellite state", he said.

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