Border controls raised in House of Lords

THE ROCKY relationship between the UK and Spanish governments over Gibraltar has been raised in the House of Lords.

A senior conservative peer has said that the lengthy checks Spain carries out at its border along La Linea amount to a breach in EU law.

Baroness Anelay of St. John delivered a written reply to a question posed by fellow Tory Lord Patten as to why the British government accepts the European Commission’s role in mediations between the two countries.

She underlined how the UK has repeatedly insisted to the European Commission that these checks went against European regulations which, whilst establishing Spain’s right to carry out border controls, state that these checks must remain proportionate and non-discriminatory.

Baroness Anelay went on to say that the European Commission had to be seen to ensure the Spanish government’s compliance with EU guidelines on border controls.

Focusing on the recent incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters by Spanish naval vessels, Baroness Anelay said that this falls under the international law of the sea rather than EU law, and that Britain should continue to defend its sovereignty by formally protesting to the Spanish government every time such an incident occurs.

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