The Latest Spain and UK mutually guarantee voting rights

LONDON — The Latest on Britain’s exit from the European Union (all times local):9:55 a.m.The governments of Spain and the United Kingdom have signed an agreement to safeguard voting rights in local elections for their citizens residing in the other country regardless of the way Brexit unfolds.Britain’s Brexit minister, Robin Walker, says the agreement is the first of its kind for Britain with a member of the European Union.Walker was in Madrid for the signing on Monday.Some 300,000 British citizens living in Spain, the largest community outside of the British Isles, and 175,000 Spaniards who are residents in Britain and Northern Ireland will be able to vote and run in local elections that both countries are due to hold in May, officials have said.Spain’s state secretary for EU affairs, Marco Aguiriano, says the agreement will enter force with Britain’s departure from the EU, whether at the end of March as initially planned or later and with or without an agreement between the two sides.___9:45 a.m.European Union nations are vowing not to reopen the draft agreement on Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc as they await details of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to break the Brexit deadlock.EU foreign ministers arriving for a regular monthly meeting Monday also insisted they would need a very convincing reason to extend the March 29 departure date.German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas shared the frustration with the British indecision on how to leave the bloc and said that “we now know what they don’t want in London. Now, we finally need to know what it does want.”Several ministers said a reopening of the draft withdrawal agreement was out of the question. Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said “this is the text we all invested ourselves in.”___9:30 a.m.Prime Minister Theresa May is set to unveil her new plan to break Britain’s Brexit deadlock — and it’s expected to look a lot like the old plan decisively rejected by Parliament last week.May plans to brief the House of Commons Monday on how she intends to proceed. There are few signs she will make radical changes to her deal, though she may seek alternations to its most contentious section, an insurance policy to guarantee an open Irish border after Brexit.The EU insists it will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement.May also faces a battle from lawmakers who are trying to use amendments to rule out the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal.Lawmakers are due to vote on May’s “Plan B” on Jan. 29.The Associated Press

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