British soldiers ‘expelled’ from Spain

Four British soldiers sent back to Gibraltar

British military deployment at Gibraltar. Credit: RoyalGIBRegt/X

Several British soldiers were recently sent back to Gibraltar by Spanish authorities after they entered Spain without following proper protocols.

On Monday, March 19, four British soldiers, who had arrived in Gibraltar on a civilian flight and possessed return tickets, checked into a four-star hotel in La Linea de la Concepcion, next to the gateway that divides Gibraltar from Spain. They initially passed as tourists, according to official Spanish sources.

Spanish – Gibraltar border check

Two of the soldiers attempted to cross back into Gibraltar later that night. Upon being questioned by the Spanish police about their entry, they revealed their military identities, stating, they were ‘going to work’ and presented their military documentation.

This raised flags as they did not meet the Schengen Border Code requirements for non-EU citizens entering EU territory.

Spanish officials then instructed them to inform their companions to gather their belongings and return to Gibraltar. This incident highlights a rare instance of military personnel being returned after entering Spanish territory.

Negotiations and naval manoeuvres

The backdrop to this incident includes recent British Navy manoeuvres in the waters around Gibraltar, which Spain claims as its own. These exercises involved high-speed movements and blank firings, intensifying the scrutiny of military activities in the area.

This event unfolds as the European Union and the United Kingdom are poised to start the 18th round of negotiations for a Gibraltar Treaty.

Aimed at integrating the British colony within the European Schengen area, these talks seek to create an ‘area of shared prosperity’ with free movement of people and goods.

Jose Manuel Albares, the Spanish Foreign Minister, emphasised the goal of ‘demolishing the Fence’, setting aside sovereignty claims for the time being.

The British Ministry of Defence employs 952 individuals in Gibraltar, with a significant civilian component.

Annually, Gibraltar sees the temporary presence of 12,000 to 14,000 British Armed Forces members. This incident with the four soldiers underscores the complex interplay between military presence and international diplomacy in the region.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • M

      20 March 2024 • 11:39

      Spain needs to loosen up, they are too tightly wound up, a war is raging in Europe’s border and liable to tip over at any time. Inflaming tensions with this petty nonsense is not boding well should Spain needs British military might in the future. bureaucracy at this time is ill advised solutions found quickly to the 90 day nonsense. Britain is still trading and aiding Europe in lots of ways so lets all get along and stop the pettiness, when you look at the bigger picture it could be dire for us all.

    • Carol Goddard

      20 March 2024 • 14:57

      Its all a but childish with what’s going on in the world today

    • John

      20 March 2024 • 15:57

      No Spains response is fine, in response to the last comment. If there was a protocol in place, why didnt they follow it? Was it because they thought they were special? Can u imagine uk border force rekaxing over 4 spanish solder in a rubber dingy? The 90 day border rule is there because some very silly people voted for it, unlucky for all of us…. that is except the legal residents of course…

    • smontes

      20 March 2024 • 17:16

      Why would you want share prosperity with a Naval Base. Spain should rethink this. Hard Border is best for both sides.

    • Lida Groot

      21 March 2024 • 07:38

      There is always a John Type making comments regarding how great Spain is and complaining these bad people who had the common sense to get out of the EU. The EU is a very corrupt organisation and Spain is similar in every way. The endemic corruption here in Spain with local goverment officials rages on. Just look at the Spanish and local papers to see which Mayor and his councilors are being charged with crimes. Spain has no LEGAL right to Gibralter, NADA, they lost it to the Brits and hopefully it will remain British for ever. Their only claim is that it is joined to Spain. Next the Spanish will try and claim France since it too is joined to Spain. Maybe even Portugal, who really cares but the truth of the matter is Gib is British and it would be shame if the Spanish got a greasy finger into Gib, because histy tells us they will then make a grab for it all, KEEP THE SPANISH OUT OF GIBRALTER FOR EVER.

    Comments are closed.