Wednesday, November 14th 2012 - 23:30 UTC

Gibraltar demands stronger UK action against incursions by the Spanish Navy

The Gibraltar Government said Britain must find a different way to end the “totally unacceptable” actions by Spanish state vessels, the latest of which on Tuesday with the incursion of the corvette “Vencedora” flying an oversized Spanish ensign, which represents “a frontal challenge and an affront to British sovereignty”.

 “Vencedora” sailing in Gibraltar bay

At around 10.30 Tuesday morning the Spanish corvette “Vencedora” (P-79) was seen entering the Bay of Gibraltar. It moved to the North end circled and left at around 11.25, a spokesperson for the Governor’s office commented.

“There was an unlawful incursion into BGTW this morning by the Spanish Navy vessel SPS Vencedora flying an over-sized Spanish ensign. The vessel was not exercising the right of innocent passage. The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron challenged this behaviour. The vessel lowered the over-sized ensign and departed BGTW.

“The Convent regrets that the Spanish Navy vessel chose to return to BGTW, in particular so soon after HMG formal protest about last week’s incursion was lodged in Madrid. The Convent has notified London and Madrid of today’s further incursion. HMG will make a further suitably-worded formal protest as soon as possible regarding this incursion and the flying of this particular Spanish ensign within BGTW.

“The Convent is also aware of the incursion this (Tuesday) afternoon by a Spanish Customs vessel and has notified London and Madrid. We are awaiting further reports on the detail”.

The Gibraltar Government highlighted that the defence of Gibraltar and of the integrity of its territorial waters against the armed forces of another country was the constitutional responsibility of the British Government.

The warship and a Guardia Civil launch were tailed by vessels from the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron but they ignored several radio warnings to leave British waters. The incursion came just days after Britain complained to the Spanish government over a similar incident last week.

“The Convent regrets that the Spanish navy vessel chose to return to British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, in particular so soon after Her Majesty’s Government’s formal protest about last week’s incursion was lodged in Madrid,” a British Government spokesman at the Convent said.

“The Convent has notified London and Madrid of today’s further incursion.”

“Her Majesty’s Government will make a further suitably-worded formal protest as soon as possible regarding this incursion and the flying of this particular Spanish ensign within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.”

“The Gibraltar Government welcomes the robust approach with Spain that the United Kingdom has adopted on a number of fronts and the unequivocal support which has been forthcoming on a number of issues,” it said in the statement.

“However, it is clear that the continuing breach of international law has now gone beyond the issue of diplomatic notes.”

“The Spanish Government, for its part, needs to ask what this aggressive posturing achieves apart from a waste of fuel on her vessels at a time of severe economic crisis.”

The Gibraltar Government did not specify what steps it would like to see Britain take to end the Spanish incursions.

The incursions and particularly this last one seem to be geared to domestic consumption: on Tuesday, one day before the Wednesday massive protest in Spain against austerity measures.

30 comments Feed

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1 Anbar (#) Nov 14th, 2012 - 11:53 pm Report abuse
for crying out loud why cant these people grow up.

do they really think that hundreds of thousands of unemployed people are suddenly going to find solace in their government flying a big flag for half an hour? Is it going to feed their families or pay the rent. will it create jobs?

politicians disgust me at times...spend your time doing something creative, not pandering to petty politics and puerile distraction tactics.
2 Bongo (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 12:12 am Report abuse
If the Spanish try it again, the population of Gibraltar should line up along the water's edge, point and start laughing.
3 Betelgeuse (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 01:24 am Report abuse
Gibraltar and its British Governor can protest all they like. Spain has never recognised British sovereignty over the Bay of Algeciras. It will continue to assert its sovereignty over those waters as it sees fit.

If the current occupants of Gibraltar have a problem with Spain’s actions then they should encourage their British over-lords to honour their commitments under the Brussels Process, heed the numerous UN General Assembly resolutions and enter into discussions with Spain over the decolonisation of Gibraltar.
4 Bongo (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 01:41 am Report abuse
Alternatively they can point and start laughing at Betelgeuse.
5 Pirate Love (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 01:49 am Report abuse
pull UK embassy staff out leaving the bare minimum, informing spain that any further acts of aggression will result in gradual Embassy closure indefinitely, and make the UK public aware of the difficulties of visiting spain, The holiday booking season is coming up in a matter of months, would you take a holiday in a country that has no embassy to your country, and is looking to drag your country into another conflict?
i dont think spain could cope with that, spain seem to have forgotten the
Spain,Yet another country that flouts human right laws and needs to know its place.
6 Xect (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 08:01 am Report abuse
The answer is actually very simple.

Just place a Frigate/Destroyer in Gibraltarian waters and then warn Spain the next warship/trawler that enters Gib waters un-authorised will be seized by force if required.

Spain would not dare enter Gib waters if the British Navy took that stance.
7 Idlehands (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 10:22 am Report abuse
This story is so silly that the Spanish should be embarrassed by it.

They may as well drop their trousers and start waving their genitalia around too.
8 Rufus (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 11:47 am Report abuse
I think this is largely a matter of pride for the Spanish - their maintenance squadrons can actually keep this thirty year old tub in a condition where it doesn't break down when it sails through other country's waters.
9 Lord Ton (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 12:33 pm Report abuse
It's a matter of bullsh*t for the Spanish navy - let's fire a shot or two across their bows to make the point!
10 Conqueror (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 12:52 pm Report abuse
@3 Let's get a few things straight. Gibraltar is a British territory. It was ceded to Britain IN PERPETUITY by virtue of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. At the time there was no such thing as “territorial waters”. Gibraltar territorial waters weren't mentioned. Neither were Spanish “territorial waters”. There wasn't even general agreement on the concept of “territorial waters” until the late 18th century. “Territorial waters” were a concept of force until 1973/82 when they became a legal matter - UNCLOS. In accordance with UNCLOS, Britain asserts sovereignty over the waters from the mid-point of the Bay to the shores of Gibraltar. Strangely, there are documents in the Spanish Archives that point out that the Spanish case is seriously flawed. Equally, Spain refuses to take the matter to a competent international tribunal, e.g. the ICJ. You would have thought that to be the obvious course. Except that Spain knows that it would lose.

The Brussels “Process” is over. It's dead. It died when the people of Gibraltar expressed their views and the British government undertook to respect them. No negotiations on sovereignty except at the express wish and with the express permission of the people of Gibraltar. As for the “numerous UN General Assembly resolutions”, shall we explain what to do with them? As with the “numerous UN General Assembly resolutions” quoted by another pitiful, thieving country, such resolutions are NON-BINDING. They are meaningless. Shouldn't a “colony” be the most interested in “decolonisation”? So why isn't Gibraltar? Also “decolonisation” doesn't include handing sovereignty to another colonial power. Spain must be in the same 18th century as argieland. And so, apparently, are you!
11 gustbury (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 01:02 pm Report abuse
Why ilegal incursion? if Gibraltar has no territorial waters!!
12 Idlehands (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 01:25 pm Report abuse
All territories have their own territorial waters - no matter how inconvienient others may find that fact.
13 briton (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 02:35 pm Report abuse
sadly,, spain will only stop, when the brits stop them ,.

untill then they will carry on taking the piss,
and mr camaroon and his Euro overlords keep very quiet, for fear of upsetting someone.
14 agent999 (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 04:13 pm Report abuse
The Spanish are only making themselves look stupid!
15 Saint Thunderlips the Amazing (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 05:13 pm Report abuse
The PP is also harassing Catalonian Fisherman for not flying the flag, even in local waters:

Anything to distract from the financial crisis. Makes you wonder how much Madrid is responsible for alienating the regions in the first place.
16 pgerman (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 05:19 pm Report abuse
Dear Conqueror...What's wrong with it? The Spanish ship was just using “your” unrestricted right to use the air and sea space.

Thanks to this right, the RAF, the RN and Lan Chile can use and enjoy the Argentine air space and sea and the Spanish Navy seal in the waters of Gibraltar ...

Conqueror .... Simple Minds, simple arguments and simple conclusions.
Do you remember?

Looking forward for your reply...
17 Zethee (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 05:50 pm Report abuse
“Thanks to this right, the RAF, the RN and Lan Chile can use and enjoy the Argentine air space and sea and the Spanish Navy seal in the waters of Gibraltar ...”

Yes, the RN uses other nations waters by right of innocent passage. As this story clearly states when it said:

“The vessel was not exercising the right of innocent passage”

“Simple Minds, simple arguments and simple conclusions.”

Perhaps you should have...simply read the story? You might have come to a “simple” conclusion.
18 Santa Fe (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 05:52 pm Report abuse
16... You really are quite thick
when was the last time the RN or RAF used Argentine airspace or infringed on your territorial waters???. Please post a reply
the waters around FI and Gibraltar are UK territorial waters, the same as all territory bordering the sea.You don't or have never owned the FI so you have No claims. As our mate Mr Moon said at the UN when badgered by the Argentine press he believes in self determination of the islanders. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN and not the Argentine facist regime, that made you a moron....J Lydon
19 pgerman (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 06:15 pm Report abuse
20 agent999 (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 06:45 pm Report abuse
p german
your jokes are almost as good as pirate hunter
21 pgerman (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 07:04 pm Report abuse
Mr J Lydon or Johnny Rotten? , here is another example:

How can a ship sail the Magallanes Strait from East to West without sail Argentine territorial waters?

Not to mention the regular LAN flights to FI (Do I have to link anything about this?)

Mr. agent999, no, no, no I'm neither a stupid malvinista nor a racist or mentally ill person such as Mr. Conqueror but I always mention the very same: If you hate, despise or contempt someone dont' ask for favor to this person. I told all of you, I have always stayed away from those who I contempt, mainly if this person has a agresive behaviour and cheats.

As its quite clear base on the coments of most of the british people in this forum that they hate and despise Argentine people and Argentina I always suggest them to stop using Argentinian air space and territorial waters.

Let's asume that, really, UK has the right of innocent passage. Lets' asume that under the current circumstances it were applicable. It's not forced to. Using Argentine air space or territorial waters is not mandatory...UK or FI people could be more ethical and stop taking advantage of this right.

That's the reason why yesterday I mentioned the fact that just before the war the FI people took advantage of the fuel and gas sent by Argentina at a cheap price. They were not force to !!!!
22 Islander1 (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 08:53 pm Report abuse
PGman - once again an Arg with muddled facts! HMS Endurance entered the Magellan Straits from the EAST on that occassion and probably was going to leave the same way.
Your Naval vessels did threaten a 3rd flag (non FI/UK flagged ship) that was travelling in and out of the Western straits - which are an INTERNATIONAL thoroughfare - where EVERY nation has the right of peacefull free passage.
More recently they do not - we understand Arg was told it was in the wrong internationally and would have Int legal action taken against it - so it all calmed down in time.
But Arg Naval vessels often harass Spanish fishing vessels exercising their right of free innocent passage through the Arg EEZ (outside territorial waters) with nets stowed and secured etc, enroute to Montevideo from the S Atlanitc - forcing the vessesl into another day-day and a half steaming and all that fuel cost.
A few years ago and Arg Naval Icebreaker vessel- exercising its right of innocent passage through the Falklands EEZ - shone searchlights at night at innocent 3rd party fishing vessels operating legally and demanding they identify themselves.
So better be carefull when you take the Libertad case to Court! The old expression - people who live in glass houses should not try and throw stones!
Moving onto International Air regulations - Arg has for many years refused Lan and other airlines the right of free transit through its airspace wanting to make charter flights to the Islands.
Arg also refused overfly rights to Lan when they wanted to start a midweek scheduled service to the Islands from Santiago that would have also included a landing in Argentina enroute.
No Falklands based vessels have any need to go to Argentine ports anyway - have not done so for half a century or more at least!
Pre 1982 medical referrals were paid for by the Islands in US$!!
23 briton (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 09:36 pm Report abuse
21 not true, but then the truth never did hurt argies did it,
the spannish do not have rights to enter british waters when theythink.

if the royal navy just went through spannish waters when it felt like it, all hell would break loose,

the spannish, like argentina is still living in the distant past.
24 pgerman (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 10:31 pm Report abuse
Dear Islander

There is something I do not understand Why would the Endurance enter the Straits of Magellan from the East to leave it from the East? Do you consider that the Strait of Magellan is such a place to take a round tour? Does it have any sense? Please, we are adults

The ARA Irizar was saliing waters that Argentina considers as its own and the UK does the same (due to FI conflict).

I have already written my opinion concerning the problem of ARA Libertad, you can read my comments. I would prefer not to write it again.

Argentina is currently limiting flights between FI and Chile but it counld perfectly well refuse authorization for a single flight that currently exists.

The concept expressed by me is still without any proper answer:

Being the Argentines as you say cheaters and misleading peopl, why dont' you stay away from our territorial waters and air space? In a one seded decision. I read that you are the population with the best income per capita in Latin America. So you can afford it.

Did anyone force the FI people to acceopt the fuel at a bargain price before the war?
Did anyone force the FI people to use the medical services of Argentina?

You really don't need the Argentine ports, but you don't need the air space and the territorial waters. Why don't you spend more money on each flight going to London? Why don't you spend more money going to South Africa?

I think so but it is more expensive and you prefer to avoid costs and be forced to see the ugly face of your hatred neighbor (who is aggresive and cheats).

Does anyone of the british people who write obsenities in this forum to express your total contempt to Argentine people offer own money to afford large trips and flights? Just to help the FI population to stay away of Argentina
25 aussie sunshine (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:06 am Report abuse
maybe the Royal navy should send in their new 9 billion slow leaky rusty submarine fleet...ñeaky-rusty.
26 Islander1 (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:49 am Report abuse
PG- East end of Magellan Straits - easy, it depends which area of Antarctica you heve been to and or are going to from Punta Arenas.

The offshore EEZ here belongs to us - the Falkland Islands - not UK - have you astill not understood that one? FI Govt issues Fisheries and Hydrocarbon Licences, FI Govt makes the policies and rules and FI Govt arranges the patrolling and pays for the policing. All the UK does is ADVISE - when we ask them for it!
Your President is scared to stop the weekly flight hereslf - as the finger will be pointed at her and Argentina for it! She tried to persuade Chile to stop it, but they said no!
It is cheaper flying direct to UK from here than the money we would pay to fly to Uk via S America! That is why! South Africa is of no real interest.
Pre 1982 YPF were given a MONOPOLY of fuels here - that is why we paid the price they asked.
Medical was NOT free- our Govt paid for it all ib US$.
27 pgerman (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 11:55 am Report abuse
Dear Islander, I would like to clarify some points.

Firstly is the fact that I dont' want to offend you at all.

Secondly, I have already written in this site that I consider that the Islanders have plenty of rights (I'm not saying that they have ALL the rights but lots of them) over the FI and as far as I know they are honest and honorable people. So, I don't consider them as “invaders” at all.

You are rigth, the Islanders can live without the Argentine ports, tarritorial waters and air space. Planes and Ships from FI can go deep to the South, take a large roung trip and once in Chilean waters go up to the North or simply use Cape Town as the point to connect the FI with the Word. The fact is that FI people decide thet its better for them to use Argentine air space and terrotorial waters. It's their choice because it's cheeper but it's not mandatory.
At this point it's quite clear that it's a trade-off decision. Go to South Africa and pay more ponds or go to Chile but pay “the fine” of been close to the “ugly face” of the Argentine people.

The usage of Argentine oil, medical aid and shools was either at a bargaing price or for free because was the law. But the Islanders were not forced to. That's the point !!!

As far as I can see nobody, not even Mr. “Conqueror”, offered his/her money to direclty help FI people to get rid of Argentine conditions.
28 Santa Fe (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:46 pm Report abuse
35 - fake aussie
Or the Argentine navy could sent their mighty submarine force DOH!!

Its on sea trials , thats what they are for to identify and rectify problems before becoming operational but you are probably aware of that.

Saying that i hope they have not bench marked astute with the Argentine corvette that blew it guts up and now sits rotting in SA.

Or maybe the rusting hulks of 30 year old subs that the RG's plan to shoehorn nuclear power into. That are still sitting rotting away awaiting CFK dollar jajajajaja
29 Frank (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 01:03 am Report abuse
The only reason the ARA ship is stuck at Simonstown is that the RG navy can't come up with $US500k they owe to MTU.
The reason they can't come up with the money is that they have spent it on their nuclear sub project......
30 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 19th, 2012 - 02:40 pm Report abuse
What a lot of Gibralter stories there are on this board!

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