Thursday, November 15th 2012 - 19:28 UTC

UK summoned Spanish ambassador to complain about latest Gibraltar incursions

The Foreign Office summoned the Spanish ambassador in London and condemned Madrid’s ‘provocative incursions’ in Gibraltar waters saying that it “is in the interests of Spain, as well as Gibraltar and Britain, to avoid any incident that may damage the prospects of developing a harmonious and collaborative relationship between Gibraltar and Spain”.

FOC Under Secretary Simon Fraser and Spanish ambassador Federico Trillo

Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign Office Simon Fraser on Wednesday summoned Spanish Ambassador H.E. Federico Trillo, in order to underline the British Government’s concerns regarding recent incursions in to British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

Likewise the Minister for Europe, David Lidington said that the UK has repeatedly made diplomatic protests to Spain over attempts by Spanish state authorities to exercise jurisdiction in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

“Yet on 13 November there were two further serious incursions. A large Spanish naval ship conducted a prominent patrol through British Gibraltar Territorial Waters lasting several hours. Later on the same day a Spanish customs vessel sought to apprehend a Gibraltarian civilian boat in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, forcing the Royal Gibraltar Police to intervene in order to safeguard the welfare of the four occupants”.

“I condemn these provocative incursions and urge the Spanish government to ensure that they are not repeated. We believe that it is in the interests of Spain, as well as Gibraltar and Britain, to avoid any incident that may damage the prospects of developing a harmonious and collaborative relationship between Gibraltar and Spain. It is also in all parties’ interests to avoid incidents which could put at risk the safety of those operating in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. We remain confident of UK sovereignty over British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and fully committed to protecting the interests of the people of Gibraltar and their wish to remain under British sovereignty.”

On Wednesday the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group in the House of Commons, Labour MP Jim Dobbins, urged a more stern response from Britain to the Spanish actions.

Speaking on GBC, Mr Dobbins said he had written “a strong letter” to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office asking it to summon the Spanish ambassador to London for a “frank and robust” discussion over the incursions.

“We expect the British government to step in now and call the Spanish government to order over this,” he said.

The Spanish Government played down the incursion by the Spanish navy vessel, as it did following a similar incident last week.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid told the state owned news service Efe that the corvette was carrying out routine patrolling duties “in Spanish waters”.

The first incursion involved the Spanish navy corvette Vencedora, which sailed up and down the length of the Bay of Gibraltar flying a large Spanish flag and ignoring warnings to leave Gibraltar waters. But it was the second incident later on Tuesday that perhaps was the more serious of the two.

Apparently a vessel operated by the Servicio de Vigilancia Aduanera, the Spanish customs, stopped a local pleasure boat around 500m off the North Mole. The SVA crew tied their vessel alongside and demanded to see the identity documents of the four local men on board the vessel.

The Royal Gibraltar Police then appeared at the scene and prevented the SVA crew from continuing what one source described as “illegal executive action” in British waters, where they have no jurisdiction.

“They were going to tow the local boat to Algeciras” said Gibraltar sources. To prevent that from happening, RGP officers jumped on board the local boat and cut the ropes.

A spokesman for the RGP confirmed that there had been an incident involving an SVA but declined to confirm any details.

Earlier this week the Gibraltar Government praised the work of the RGP Marine Section, while underscoring that responsibility for maintaining the integrity of British Gibraltar territorial waters is the constitutional responsibility of the UK government.

The RGP recently put two new interceptor vessels into operation and is expected to take delivery of two additional patrol boats in the coming week.

38 comments Feed

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1 Gordo1 (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 07:51 pm Report abuse
Has la Cretina been giving Rajoy lessons in provocation? Or has Rajoy decided that a Gibraltar incident will take preference over his internal problems?
2 ProRG_American (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 08:02 pm Report abuse
Always complaining and crying. Keep off other peoples land and you won't have to worry about intrusions and having to bother with complaining.
3 ptolemy (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 08:23 pm Report abuse
4 Conqueror (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 08:30 pm Report abuse
@2 Please keep going. Want to see Spanish vessels sunk? Want to see Spanish pirates shot? Did Britain mind killing argie criminals? Won't mind killing Spanish criminals either. Stay OFF of Gibraltar. Stay OUT of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. Treaties and international law is on the side of Gibraltar and Britain. Like cowardly argieland, cowardly Spain refuses to go to a competent international tribunal. Spain is just as criminal as argieland!
5 Xect (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 09:01 pm Report abuse
As ever ProRG has zero facts and spits hate.

The answer is for the British Navy to aggressively patrol Gib waters and any un-authorised warship or police boats are impounded by force if necessary.

That would end this overnight.
6 toooldtodieyoung (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 09:26 pm Report abuse
2 ProRG_American

See? this is a lession of how people in the real world deal with issues on an international scale.

Not having a tantrum in the UN, not having a paddy and running to the nearest Court room.

KFC / TMBOA / Ol' Turkey Neck / The Harpy would do well to take notes...... Having said that...... Isn't it about time HMS Diamond paid an extended courtesy call to Gibraltar?

I'm sure everyone on “The Rock” would like to see a T45 up close..........
7 RICO (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 09:34 pm Report abuse
Spain is very brave when dealing with 4 unarmed blokes in an unarmed boat but they are a lot less brave with the Gib police. The police should video the incidents and raise European arrest warrants for the Spanish criminals.
8 briton (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 10:01 pm Report abuse
We will now see if indeed Spain has any respect for the British or giblatarians,

Two things will now happen,
1, Spain will behave its self, and we can all be friends again,
She will totally ignore the brits, stick their two fingers up to us brits, and show total shameful disrespect,
With the crawl ling foreign attitude today, that the British wont do anything, so fcuk the brits.
I give it less that a week before she does it again,
Then two things will happen
1, Britain shuts of diplomatic relations, sending a type 45 to Gibraltar and telling Spain, [come back, and you will be sunk]
We will complain to Spain [again] and thus prove Spanish opinion was justified.

Just my humble opinion.

Sink em, and be done with all this pussying about....
9 Pirate Love (#) Nov 15th, 2012 - 10:03 pm Report abuse
@2 laughable, just as much as spains child like behaviour,
two spanish speaking countries,both in financial dire straits,both nations have civil unrest, both use lies and provocation in distraction tactics, both have expansionist ideals, both do not recognize the rights of the smaller nations they threaten, and both will LOSE!
one already has :)
S-E-L-F D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N It works for me! and apparently Ban Ki Moon also :)
10 aussie sunshine (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:09 am Report abuse
maybe the royal navy should send in their new 9 billion investment of new fleet.
11 Pirate Love (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:57 am Report abuse
@10 yep astutes an option, however a single typhoon would be more efficient option.
“The MoD confirmed Astute had suffered some ”teething problems“ during sea trials. ”It is normal for first of class trials to identify areas where modifications are required and these are then incorporated into later vessels of the class,“
and thats why they call them ”Sea Trials” to look for problems,pretty standard practise,unless of course you pointed this out in some niave reflection that the UK as a whole is defenceless?
12 Lord Ton (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 05:15 am Report abuse
Let's sink one - just to make sure they really understand !
13 Marcos Alejandro (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 05:57 am Report abuse
2 “Always complaining and crying. Keep off other peoples land and you won't have to worry about intrusions and having to bother with complaining”

14 agent999 (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 06:17 am Report abuse
Spain are only “showboating” for the latam countries in advance of Ibero-America summit in Cadiz this week.
15 Marcos Alejandro (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 06:24 am Report abuse
10 aussie sunshine Interesting article you posted!

“Slow, leaky, rusty: Britain's £10bn submarine beset by design flawsExclusive: Royal Navy's HMS Astute 'has a V8 engine with a Morris Minor gearbox'
”Concern reported among some crew members about the Astute's pioneering periscope, that does not allow officers to look at the surface “live”.

So the scope view has a delay? LOL

British engineering at it's best lol.
16 Santa Fe (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 07:50 am Report abuse
15- teething problems that will be fixed the first boat of a new class of technologically world leading submarines. Apparently they passed the Argentine Navys test with flying colours (sit in port rusting with no power)

how is the mighty Argentine Submarine force???? maybe we could do an exchange with our officers and cadets, snet your mighty sailing flagship over to the UK doh!!!!
17 Pirate Love (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:28 pm Report abuse
@15 well done you can copy and paste, yet you missed out the part where the MOD states these issues were found during “Sea Trials” better to find these problems now than lets say in the future,

whats worse finding minor problems within RN Sea trials or.....
suffer major breakdowns in Argentines established p1ss ant navy vessels?? :)

however back to topic, Gibraltans have their own mind and their own destiny, expansionists will learn that the hard way.
18 malen (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:34 pm Report abuse
you should have a book for complains complains complains
19 Santa Fe (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 12:37 pm Report abuse

I forgot your rusting aged hulls that the Rg's plan to go nuclear with teehee
Argentine Engineering at its best jajajajaa
20 Conqueror (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 01:44 pm Report abuse
@2 Gibraltar is BRITISH! It has been for over 300 years. The Gibraltarians like it that way. Nothing to do with any latinos!
@11 I'm in favour of Apache gunships. Far cheaper to operate than Astute or any surface warship. MUCH quicker response time. Cruise speed 161 mph. Therefore, a couple of Apaches could reach any “incident” within 3-4 minutes. The Apache systems should permit any “incident” to be videoed. If the worst came to the worst, the Apache's armament should enable it to give a good account of itself, even against a warship. Consider what an Apache could do compared to any warship, surface or sub-surface. I suppose an Astute-class would have rifles and machine guns aboard, but it would take far longer to get anywhere. Similar considerations for a Typhoon. But the problem there would be that it is too fast!
@18 There is a complaints book. It has to be completed in English and is prominently marked “Not for use by uneducated latinos”.
21 reality check (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 05:00 pm Report abuse
British Engineering at it's best LOL!

Let's see how many nuclear powered hunter killer submarines has Argentinian Engineering produced?

Whoops, that's right! a big round figure of Zero, none, zilch, bugger all.

Okay, so how many conventional boats have Argentine Engineers built!

Whoops! same again!

Criticise other peoples engineering capability when you possess the same yourself, not only can you not build the technology, you can not ferkin buy it either!!!!

Not because of any moral reasons about selling you the technology but because no one trusts you to pay !!!!

22 Marcos Alejandro (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 06:04 pm Report abuse
21 RC
You are right, why should we waste £10bn on(useless) submarines like Britain?
The Prophecy of the Fox

”Her army and her navy
England shall cast aside;
Soldiers and ships are costly things,
Defence an empty pride ...
23 Conqueror (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 06:37 pm Report abuse
@22 Screwed you though, didn't they?
24 reality check (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 06:47 pm Report abuse
The British list, although this is only a small percentage of British Inventions;
Micrometers , DC Motors , Internal Combustion Engines , External Combustion Engines , Computers , The Internet , The Lightbulb , Engineering , Pies , Pasties , Ale , Acurate Newpapers , Darius Turbines , The Jet Engine , The Radial Engine , Proplers (Air and Sea), War Ships , Rifles , Bombs , The Nuclear Reactor , Nuclear Power , The Police Force , The Air Force , Dog Fights , Cock Fighting , Football , Rugby , Hockey , Polo , Polo Mints , Heat Seeking Missiles , Radar , Sonar , Lasar , Lasar Gun Sights , Trains , Hovercraft , Pubs , Fish & Chips , Cotton Cloathing , Peace in Europe (TWICE) , Sterio , Radio , Printers , Typewriters , The Dictionary (admitedly not this one) , Phones , Mobile Phones , Standard Measurments , Barometers , VHS , DVDs , CDs , Cameras , Camera Flashes , Commandos , After Burners , Central Heating , Radiators , Deodorant , Chemical Warfare , Prison , The Aircraft-Carrier and everything to do with it , Torpedos , Submarines , Sea-Side Holidays , Pop-Music and THE Chart , Rock-Music , Motor Bikes , The Driving License , Double Glazing , Vacuum Cleaners , Lifts , Escalators , Machine Guns and The Tank.

British Engineering at its best.
25 Pugol-H (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 07:52 pm Report abuse
It is beginning to look like “stronger action” is going to have to be taken against the Spanish.

Punitive would be better, but is very unlikely at this stage, however watch this space.
26 briton (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 08:17 pm Report abuse
One has to wonder the level of education these Argies have,
Leaking subs, sinking,
Sub is made, sub put in service , sub leaks , hits a wall and sinks ,

And the uneducated Argies would cry, how silly to send a sub to sea in service without testing it first.
Point taken perhaps,
Its called sea trials for that very silly reason, so they can find any leaks or other problems before it goes into service,

When it does enter service, it may well be Argies that end up leaking,
And not from their

27 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 08:29 pm Report abuse
#1 La Reina Cristinita is nothing like Rajoy the austerity disaster!

#20 But the Gibralterians ARE Latinos. British Latinos, at least for now. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you bigot!
28 Conqueror (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 08:40 pm Report abuse
@27 “La Reina Cristinita”. So it's really a dressed-up faggot!
Been to Gibraltar. More than once. Nice people. Unlike Latinos. Or Scots. Gibraltarians will be British for as long as they wish. They will move, when ready, from BOT to independence. No other option. They will NOT be given to Spain. Scots? Who cares? Must remember to drive up to the border occasionally and toss a few stale, mouldy crusts over. Really looking forward to watching them grovelling in the faeces-impregnated muck.
29 toooldtodieyoung (#) Nov 16th, 2012 - 10:09 pm Report abuse
22 Marcos Alejandro

Oh dear, oh dear!!!

”You are right, why should we waste £10bn on(useless) submarines like Britain?”

Have you even got £10bn to spend???
30 Betelgeuse (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 06:18 am Report abuse
The article fails to mention the critical fact that the UN continues to list Gibraltar as a territory that needs to be decolonised by the UK.
It is pure obfuscation to insist, as the UK does, that the current inhabitants of Gibraltar have a right under the principle of self-determination to determine the nationality of the land they live in. Under international law there are territorial limitations to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves where a pre-colonial claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with Gibraltar.

A coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

Both the UN and ICJ have confirmed that the principle of territorial integrity complements and constrains the right to self-determination in cases such as Gibraltar. This is the reason why the UN adopted Resolution 2353 (XXII), which observed that the referendum conducted by Gibraltar in 1967 was invalid.

The UN has repeatedly invited the UK to participate in discussions to achieve the de-colonisation of Gibraltar. The UK has also failed to honour its commitments under the Brussels Agreement in regard to Gibraltar.

Spain has never recognised British sovereignty over the Bay of Algeciras. Not surprisingly therefore, it will continue to ignore the protests of the colony of Gibraltar and its British Governor and continue to exert its sovereignty in any way it sees fit.
31 JustinKuntz (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 10:39 am Report abuse
Which UN resolution constrains self-determination?

Answer: None

Argentina and Spain did sponsor a GA assembly, trying to qualify and constrain self-determination where there is sovereignty dispute. It was rejected, overwhelmingly so.

Similarly, there is no ICJ resolution that constrains it either, point of fact recent developments such as the opinion on Kosovo support the opposite. Which explains why Spain and Argentina argued against it.

The facts are thtat the territorial integrity clause in UN 1514, were intended to ensure that acts of decolonisation occurred within the boundaries of dependent territories and prevent the administering power from breaking them up to keep choice pieces for themselves. It is there to protect the people of dependent territories, not to deny an external state a premise to deny basic human rights.

You can state a lie repeatedly, doesn't make it true.
32 reality check (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 01:24 pm Report abuse
UN Res 2353 (xx11)
4. Declares: Invites the Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to resume without delay the negotiations provided for in General Assembly Resolutions 2070 (XX) and 2231 (XXI), with a view to putting an end to the colonial situation in Gibraltar and to “safeguarding the interests of the population” upon termination of that situation;


Sounds like that might be a reference to Self Determination to me!
33 Pugol-H (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 02:43 pm Report abuse
The UN lists many territories as “needing decolonising”, which were in fact decolonised some time ago. This is why the C24 cannot survive much longer.

According to the UN all people have the right to self-determination, according to Ban-Ki Moon, all the non-self-governing territories have the right to self-determination, “be it independence or some kind of government in their territories”. He has repeated this many times now.

Gibraltar was ceded to the British by the Spanish in perpetuity, therefore does not disrupt the territorial integrity of Spain, as by agreement of the Spanish it was no longer a part of Spain.

As Gibraltarians are genetically mainly of Spanish origin, and Spanish speaking, I fail to see how you can call them “implanted”. Which incidentally coming from a Mapuche murdering Criollo Conquistador, S. American Planter, is hilariously funny to us.

Like “but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in”. So it’s not Argentina that you live in then.

The referenda in Gibraltar and in the Falklands are the basis on which the UN will eventually decide these territories are self-governing, whether you like it or not.

Whether the Spanish recognise BG territorial waters or not is largely irrelevant, as the British will, if necessary, enforce it as they see fit. F*ck all the Spanish can do about it.

Just as Argentina does not recognise the Falklands, but stays out of Falkland’s airspace and territorial waters, because the British enforce it.
34 Santa Fe (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 07:15 pm Report abuse
Yep when it comes down to it like in the FI and with this case as well when the gloves are off and the bigger boys start fighting the Spanish and the Rgs will scuttle off again humiliated and set up home in looserville
35 reality check (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 07:32 pm Report abuse
Spain, famous for surrendering to Al Qaeda, bunch of wimps, would not trust them to have my back in a pillow fight, nothing to worry about there!
36 THEMan (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 07:53 pm Report abuse
@28 Conqueror Just wait until after 2014, when we watch England fuck up because of their inability to understand that voting Tory means that the poor get even poorer. Meanwhile, we'll be rebuilding or industries and continue as normal. Just remember who has the $1.5 trillion worth of oil and builds all of the ships for the Navy. Most undecided Scots will come to realise that being independent is actually a good thing. Current polls (not from the biased YouGov, or English papers) show that support for it is around 36% to 43 %, up from 30 at the start of 2012. ;)
37 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 11:32 pm Report abuse
#35 So they should have just stayed in Iraq to prove a childish macho point, even though around 80% of the population were against the war even before it led to hundreds of dead on their own trains. And oh yes, I almost forgot the pro-war government (in which Rajoy was deputy PM at the time!) then lied and said it was ETA because that would be easier to spin in their own favour, a real indictment of the Spanish people they didn't re-elect that crowd!
38 Santa Fe (#) Nov 18th, 2012 - 02:32 pm Report abuse
36.... Very odd all the recent articles and polls suggest a fall in support!!!

And PS scotland doesn't build all the navy's ships , an the 1.5 trillion pound oil reserves is utter rubbish.
if you understood the issue, like many SA troll poster fail to you would realise a majority of English, welsh and NI would rather Scotland leave the union, the UK pays, put in more money to Scotland for health benefits, free tuition, free prescriptions etc etc than Scotland makes in GDP.

no story here, most English would rather they leave, North Sea oil is not what is was in regards to a bonanza and hasn't been for years, ship building is alive in England.

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