Grave concern over unlawful intrusion into Gibraltar’s waters


South face of Gibraltar

EUROPEAN Minister David Lidlington has expressed Britain’s concerns over the Spanish research vessel which exercised “irresponsible” and “dangerous” manoeuvres in Gibraltar’s waters.

The minister, who has contacted Spain’s foreign secretary said: “The irresponsible actions and dangerous manoeuvring of this vessel were not only unlawful but also presented a significant risk to the safety of Royal Navy personnel at sea.

“Under no circumstances should Spanish vessels be provoking a situation that could result in serious injury or a fatality.”

“The waters around Gibraltar are indisputably British.”

And he added: “We will continue to take whatever action we consider necessary to uphold British sovereignty and the interests of Gibraltar, its people, its security and economy.”

This is the latest in a series of strained relations between the two countries. In April, another research vessel entered the British waters, followed by a Spanish police boat.

Any incursion into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters by Spain is considered an attempt to exert control and is seen by the British Government as a breach of UK Sovereignty. 

Gibraltar has belonged to Britain for over 300 years but the Spanish would like to lay claim to the small populated rock.


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