Thursday, December 20th 2012 - 19:38 UTC

UK will take “all necessary and proportionate” measures in support of Gibraltar

As tension with Spain escalates the British Government made clear that it would take “all necessary and proportionate” measures to maintain the integrity British sovereignty of Gibraltar and its waters. Europe Minister David Lidington set out the position in a letter to the Governor, Sir Adrian Johns, in response to the petition organised by the Defenders of Gibraltar.

Europe Minister David Lidington set out the position in a letter to the Governor, Sir Adrian Johns

García-Margallo said that if Gibraltar was at the talks, then so too must the regional authority in Spain, Andalusia

Sir Adrian delivered the 10,000-signature petition in person, prompting a tough response from the minister.

Mr Lidington noted that the group had “vigorously” exercised a democratic right to contribute to the debate on issues of vital importance to the Rock. He recognised that the large number of people who had signed the petition was a clear indication of the deep level of concern in Gibraltar.

“The UK understands the pressures Gibraltar’s citizens face,” he said. “Thus we do not rule out any options in responding to Spanish actions.”

“All contingencies need to be planned for and I and my colleagues stand ready to protect Gibraltar’s long-term prosperity and the safety of its population.”

He added: “As I make clear every time I discuss issues concerning Gibraltar, the UK is committed to defending its sovereignty and will pursue all necessary and proportionate actions to ensure it is not compromised.”

Mr Lidington said the UK’s recent decision to summon the Spanish ambassador to London for a grilling over incursions in Gibraltar waters was “a potent public demonstration” of that strategy.

In his letter to the Governor, Mr Lidington also set out the UK’s position in respect of bilateral sovereignty talks with Spain. “As you know the position of the United Kingdom on sovereignty remains clear and unchanged,” he wrote.

“The UK will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes.” Furthermore “the UK will not enter into any process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content”.

In a statement, the Governor welcomed the Minister’s robust response to the petition and agreed that no options should be ruled out in responding to Spanish action.

In Madrid Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel García-Margallo, said Spain and the UK had no option but to ‘cooperate in the environmental management of European nature sites in Gibraltar waters’.

García-Margallo said both countries had a legal obligation to enforce EU environmental directives in the “disputed waters” and recalled that the EU had approved both British and Spanish nature sites in the same area of sea.

That meant the two countries had “positive, concurrent competencies”. He added: “we have to come to an agreement; we have a specific problem that requires cooperation and negotiation in order to resolve it and avoid a conflict every day.”

García-Margallo said only the UK and Spain could take decisions in those negotiations, but that the UK insisted that Gibraltar must be involved too. “We have two jurisdictions that are obliged to enforce European environmental directives,” the Spanish minister said.

“Don’t forget that it is sovereign states that are responsible for ensuring compliance with European directives, and that is Spain and the UK.”

García-Margallo said that if Gibraltar was at the talks, then so too must the regional authority in Spain. He cited the Junta de Andalucia in that context.

The Spanish minister also set out Spain’s position on sovereignty and said his government “has neither renounced, nor will it ever renounce” its claim over Gibraltar.

35 comments Feed

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1 Pirate Love (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 08:05 pm Report abuse
Do One! spanish pirates or like your argentine cousins you will taste British bayonet once again!

Self-Determination, All day every day!
2 Pugol-H (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 08:42 pm Report abuse
Ah ha, the purpose of the strategy becomes clear, force the Brits and Gibraltarians into the four party talks they wanted in the first place, but was rejected.

You have to wonder at the mental age of this type of thinking in dealing with anybody, never mind the British.

I guess they will just have to get used to disappointment.

They could learn a lot from Argentina in that respect, they still talk about negotiations that aren’t happening any time in the foreseeable.
3 emerald (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 09:09 pm Report abuse
UK has to pay dues to Spain for Gibraltar.
4 lord soctt the third (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 09:58 pm Report abuse
get a grip we aquired that over 299 years ago ......dont think we owe anybody anything..
5 Shed-time (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 10:03 pm Report abuse
Spain only owned Gibraltar for a very short time. The fact it's jumping about now is because it's basically a pauper and wants real countries to give it some kind of validation. It doesn't have to renounce its claims over Gibraltar, it's just another failed state.

Better just to tell it to bugger off back to the cheap seats.
6 Britworker (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 10:44 pm Report abuse
Yes Spain, we will give your opinions some considered thought...Hasta Manana! In the meantime your country is going down the S bend. Don't expect any help from us.
Do expect more British warships.
7 Xect (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 12:20 am Report abuse
LOL @ 3 - The UK doesn't have to do anything.....

We can simply turn up our military protection and should Spain wish to engage our military then they will be sent home in body bags. Clearly this wont happen as the Spanish military runs off every time the Royal Navy turns up, they are only brave when we do not have a warship patrolling.

You want trouble? We will give you trouble and you won't enjoy it.

Maybe it's time we perform an embargo on traveling to Spain? Since the UK makes up a large proportion of Spanish tourism and economy that would hurt them a lot or how about we veto anything related to Spanish bailouts? See how you survive without EU money.

8 Anbar (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 01:18 am Report abuse
“As tension with Spain escalates ”

Ive not seen or heard any mention of this whole Gib thing anywhere other than MercoPress.

BBC? nope.
Xinhua? Nope
RT? Nope.
CNN? Nope
Moscow Times? Nope...

Anybody in the office talking about it? Nope.
Down the Pub? Nope.
At school? Nope.
On Camp? Nope.

So where exactly are these tensions rising?

And if Spain wanted Gibraltar they shouldn't really have given in perpetuity to the UK should they?

“Oh, we changed our minds!”

It about as believable as that Gaucho idiot being a freedom fighter, instead of a murdering rapist..... history tells us, very clearly, what happened.

learn to live with it.
9 Marcos Alejandro (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 02:03 am Report abuse
I am sure they will rename Gibraltar(Spain)“Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Corn, Land”
10 reality check (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 06:05 am Report abuse
Morning expat, your up early, is it raining in your part of the UK, dry here.
11 Anglotino (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 06:40 am Report abuse
@9 Marcos Alejandro

I didn't know there was a Gibraltar in Spain. Is it near the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar?

Do they call it Gibraltar (Spain) to differentiate it from the original Gibraltar? And why would the Spanish rename a town (I'm assuming Gibraltar (Spain) is a town) after British royalty?
12 reality check (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 07:34 am Report abuse
They do not call it the “ROCK,” for nothing.
13 Diddles (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 09:44 am Report abuse
The current Spanish Government is playing the same game as their former colony, Argentina.....playing the political distraction card, in this case Gibralter, as their nation's economy goes down the wonder many Latin American nations have so little respect or understanding for good governance when their former mother country provides such a shining example of that quality.
14 Conqueror (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 10:24 am Report abuse
@3 Here's a tip. Dig your fingers into a pile of sh*te. Then wave your fingers at Spain and suck them. Dues paid!
@9 Why not rename your own pauper place as Slagland? Or perhaps you'd prefer Slagentina?
15 emerald (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 10:50 am Report abuse

We know you can not pay it becouse you are a broke country.
16 Brit Bob (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 11:13 am Report abuse

Better to be broke but on the mend than a bunch of cheats that are going nowhere.

Remember: INDEC inflation = 10%
Real Argie inflation = 25% plus

Remember: Real Falkland History -
17 reality check (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 11:25 am Report abuse
Not so broke as to stop you leeches coming cap in hand for another loan!

Another 6.5Bil this time from the IDB. Non Borrowing Member = UK.
Borrowing Member (Right at the top of the list) = Argentina.

Deeds, thousand times louder than words!!!!!!!!
18 Shed-time (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 12:40 pm Report abuse
So, when their EU-subsidised organised crime syndicates aren't illegally fishing in UK waters [1] they're fishing in Gibraltan waters, with government patrols keeping them secure. Can someone explain why we are in Europe again?

These boats should be burned and sunk. End of.

19 reality check (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 02:10 pm Report abuse
@18 Shedtime

Because my bloody granparents, uncles and aunts voted for us to join the EEC. I doubt they voted for what it has become, but there you go, democracy in action. In case your wandering why my mum and dad did not vote. We were stationed abroad at the time, in the former British Colony of Hong Kong (Put that in for the Malvanistas amongst us, give em summat to whinge about, be boring otherwise!)
20 Shed-time (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 02:14 pm Report abuse
@19 The European community seems to give money for spanish organised criminals to essentially rob future generations of any kind of fish stocks, even in British Waters. Then they demand the Gibraltans hand over sovereignty of the rock, which the spanish only owned for a short period of time.

I'm hoping someone gives me the chance to vote to get out of this nonsense.
21 Idlehands (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 02:23 pm Report abuse
8 Anbar

Most Gibraltar related stories on here come a day late after appearing here:
22 Gordo1 (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 02:34 pm Report abuse
“The Spanish minister also set out Spain’s position on sovereignty and said his government “has neither renounced, nor will it ever renounce” its claim over Gibraltar.”

This statement is clearly untrue as Spain ceded El Peñon to Britain when the Treaty of Utrecht was enacted. The only way that Spain may legally obtain sovereignty of Gibraltar is by renegotiating that treaty - and that is extremely unlikely¡
23 emerald (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 03:40 pm Report abuse
The broke imperialists !
is it a new movement ?
24 reality check (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 03:56 pm Report abuse

The Spanish, Greeks and to be honest, all of us and just not in Europe are feeling the pinch. I went shopping with my wife yesterday and I really, really hate shopping with women, I live with three of them, steady! the other two are my daughters, for our usual Chritsmas fare.

You know the stuff, meat, fruit, sweets etc. All the things that surround you on Christmas day and lets face it, unlike my parents or their parents, we have become accustomed to.

I saw the prices of the stuff and I was utterly gob smacked, become so used to her in doors doing it, coming home and whinging about prices, just accepting it as a fact of life. Real, real , eye opener.

My point, if it's like this here. God knows what it's like there. It's hardly bloody suprising, that the Spanish Goverment is trying to distract their people.

Let them. Se nd a ship out there, keep chasing them away and hope that in one ot two years, things will get better for them and the status qou returns. Until the next economic crisis.

They know sovereignty will never be ceeded, in the meantime, it's a convenient distraction, for those nieve enough to be distracted.
25 LightThink (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 06:46 pm Report abuse
We don't know,would you tell us how you acquired Gibraltar .

do not bring us YouTubes,Wikipedias,MediaLinks..etc.
26 reality check (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 09:20 pm Report abuse

Matters not how the UK acquired Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands.

What matters is, they are BOT's and short of an act of war, the world saw what happened the last time, they will always be BOT's, they are Brits as long as they choose to be. It's their decision.

Now how fucking difficult is that to understand?
27 Shed-time (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 10:07 pm Report abuse
A rough translation of a chinese proverb suggests that remaining calm when being antagonized prevents '100 days of sorrow'.

No point letting the Spanish antagonise us, they're economically furked and this is the only option they have left. Not even Catalonia wants to be Spanish any more.
28 Terence Hill (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 01:32 am Report abuse
25 LightThink

How did Britain acquire sovereignty over Gibraltar?

Gibraltar was captured in 1704 during the war of Spanish succession by an Anglo-Dutch fleet. British sovereignty was formalised in 1713 by the treaty of Utrecht and Gibraltar became a British colony in 1830.

Spain has made several unsuccessful attempts to recapture it: the Rock has endured 15 sieges, the most famous of which started in 1779 and lasted more than three years. General Franco, the Spanish dictator, closed the border with Gibraltar in the 1940s and a second cut-off was imposed in the 60s.
29 reality check (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 01:49 am Report abuse
If Spain wants it, she knows where it is. If she has the bollocks,
she can come and get it. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
30 LightThink (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 05:49 pm Report abuse

once 18 th century was UK's golden era,
but present time is not.

EU can expel UK forces from Gibraltar easily if it wants.
31 briton (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 07:49 pm Report abuse
EU can expel UK forces from Gibraltar easily if it wants.

[ no it can not]
EU has not jurastiction over UK military forces.
32 aussie sunshine (#) Dec 22nd, 2012 - 10:25 pm Report abuse
you trolls are treating The UK and Spain as if they were third world countries!!!
well, there will be no military conflict because these two GREAT nations are civilized and they know each other very well over many centuries. They are so close that English pilots have been training on the Spanish naval Carrier these last few weeks!! so all those trolls who know nothing of Spain and The UK look elsewhere for a military conflict......
33 briton (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 07:23 pm Report abuse
Warming up in Gibraltar
An interesting article..

British always..
34 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 04:53 pm Report abuse
Theres been an awful lot of Gibralter stories on here recently...
35 briton (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 11:49 pm Report abuse
but nothing on angola or timbucktoo.

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