Monday, July 29th 2013 - 05:57 UTC

Gibraltar blasts Spain over incident and calls for upgrade or Royal Navy engagement rules

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo Governor Sir Adrian Johns said Spain had no right to interfere with activities in British Gibraltar territorial waters and called for an upgrade of Royal Navy engagement rules.

Picardo said the incident had demonstrated the value of the larger vessels purchased for Royal Gibraltar Police

Royal Gibraltar Police new vessel

The statements follow last Thursday’s incident when Guardia Civil and Spanish fishing vessels tried to interrupt the dumping of concrete blocks in Gibraltar waters to build an artificial reef.

Such an artificial reef should definitively put an end to Spanish vessels incursions into Gibraltar waters, a motive of constant disputes in recent times between Gibraltar and London, with Madrid.

“The waters off the runway are as much a part of Gibraltar as is Main Street,’ Mr Picardo said, adding “I emphasise again that a fully licensed Government contractor cannot be prevented from going about its perfectly legal work in our sovereign waters”.

The message was echoed by the Governor, Sir Adrian Johns.

“The fact is that the tug and barge concerned have been contracted by HM Government of Gibraltar to carry out a perfectly legal and peaceful operation inside British sovereign waters in support of marine conservation,” Sir Adrian said.

The Governor noted that this operation was “…completely within the constitutional responsibility and competence of HM Government of Gibraltar and no-one else’s.”

“Any issues arising out of this should be handled through the normal diplomatic channels,” he added. “It is completely unacceptable to pursue the matter in any other way either on the waters or elsewhere.”

Chief Minister Picardo also praised “the excellent job” carried out by police and navy crews but once again called on the British Government to strengthen its naval presence and its rules of engagement.

He said the incident had demonstrated the value of the larger vessels the Gibraltar Government had purchased for the Royal Gibraltar Police.

“Whilst I would like to see similar upgrades to the Royal Navy’s assets here on the Rock, it would also be useful for the Navy to review its rules of engagement,” he said.

“No-one likes to see the Navy ignored and disrespected by foreign state vessels as has been the case on so many occasions. It does nothing for the international reputation of the Navy or of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces generally”, said Picardo.

39 comments Feed

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1 ChrisR (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 01:17 pm Report abuse
I just love this guy!

Next time he is in the UK I hope Camoron takes the time to get a few lessons on handling unruly children: the Spanish 'government' for a start.
2 LEPRecon (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 02:03 pm Report abuse
Personally I think the Police in Gibraltar should put 50 cal. weapons on their patrol boats.

A few warning shots should sent the Spaniards packing, and if they won't be warned off, then they should be boarded, the crews arrested for acts of piracy, and the vessels impounded.

Each member of the crews should be fined, and the Captain's fined extra per member of the crew. The vessels to be released after the fine is paid by the Spanish government: a few hundred thousand Euro's per vessel.

If they won't pay up, then the vessels should be auctioned to the highest bidder.

Perhaps that would teach the Spanish not to interfere in someone else's territory and business.
3 Conqueror (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 02:40 pm Report abuse
It is difficult to see what the Royal Navy could do. Its largest class of patrol vessel is the Archer class. Whilst these are more than twice the size of the Scimitar class boats assigned to the Gibraltar Squadron (54 tonnes compared to 24 tonnes), they are mostly unarmed. Although they could be fitted with general purpose machine guns and a cannon. Next step up is a River class offshore patrol vessel and then a frigate. The problem is that the bigger the vessel the longer it takes to get underway. IMHO part of the answer is to send a flight of the Army Air Corps' Apache attack helicopters and another of Eurocopter Squirrels. Being much lighter, the Squirrel is better suited to patrolling. Once something is seen requiring action, a couple of Apaches can join the “action”. Although Spain has the Eurocopter Tiger, it doesn't match the Apache. Then there's the necessity for a ground component. Some Rapier missile batteries for air defence, obviously. But then, for direct action, a couple of Trojan armoured engineering vehicles to smash through the border posts. Possibly half a dozen Warrior AFVs for support. Of course, the Warriors could also fire on targets at sea, out to 4,400 yards. I reckon the Spanish would have a fit just watching the equipment being unloaded. There's a very nice spot at the northern end of Winston Churchill Avenue for the Trojans and Warriors to park. It must be noted that this would be a measured response. So far during 2013, Spanish state vessels have made over 170 incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. There have been instances of the Guardia Civil attempting to “arrest” Gibraltar vessels and a recent incident where a GC individual fired a weapon at a Gibraltar citizen. Such things cannot be tolerated. Spain must be taught that it cannot breach the law with impunity. In fact, since thousands of Spaniards work in Gibraltar, let's close the border from the Gibraltar side!
4 A_Voice (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 04:27 pm Report abuse
..........Say hello, say hello, To Pillsbury dough,
Whatta guy!
How did you ever get into politics? did you beat the opposition?
Ah! I see my did you Eat the opposition.......yeah I can see that!
Anyway.......ever heard of the word diplomacy? Stuff that Governments use to deal with tiresome countries.......
You appear to want the UK to resort to force.......What a joke!
How about the UK start by subsidising flights to Greece for the next year to encourage more holidays there.....start vetoing funds for some funds to Catalonia......just to cause trouble. Strip search Spaniards entering the UK, scrutinise luggage, passports......everything!
All of these would cost far less than militarising Gibraltar!
Alternatively Picardo why don't you eat the Guardia Civil.......I dare say you could manage......
5 Conor J (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 04:41 pm Report abuse
Oh the muppet patrol is out, he never said anything about militarising Gib or attacking Spain. He called for an extra Royal Navy presence to deter the Spanish aggressors. This does not entail using force. Oh and mocking Picardo's weight does not deter from the fact that he is a very astute, capable and popular politician. Argentina can hardly claim to have the most aesthetically pleasing politicians after all can it? :)
6 alan (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 05:06 pm Report abuse
@4 A_Voice
Its 6p.m. in Greenock - shouldn't you be in bed? You seem to like song lyrics. Well...
“There must be some kind of way out of here,”
Said the joker to the thief,
“There's too much confusion,
I can't get no relief.
Businessman they drink my wine,
Plowman dig my earth
None will level on the line, nobody offered his word, hey”
“No reason to get excited,”
The thief, he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants, too

Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl
*buisness man there, drink my wine,
Come and take my herb
7 A_Voice (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 05:13 pm Report abuse
You only read the bits you want to read......
“Whilst I would like to see similar upgrades to the Royal Navy’s assets here on the Rock, it would also be useful for the Navy to review its rules of engagement,” he said.
Assets......he means military Assets......rules of Engagement.......?
Who cares what you think and your biased opinions.......I can see by your British Sycophancy that you are not exactly a your favourite colour is orange!
8 alan (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 05:16 pm Report abuse
@7 A_Voice
Your not George Galloway are you?
9 A_Voice (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 05:25 pm Report abuse
@8 Alan
That was so sweet of you waiting to serenade me.......Greenock.....I wouldn't be seen dead staying in's bad!
Why your interest in do realise all the Celts were wiped out in your area by the Norwegian Vikings......any that were left that is after the Angles!
10 alan (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 06:13 pm Report abuse
@9 A_voice
By the place names yes - many place names end in 'by' 'thwaite' etc. But how do we count 'Yan' , 'Tan', Tethera'(similar to Welsh and Ayrshire). If you look you can see (e.g farm Names, Hill names (e.g Dunmail Raise),occassional village names are not Viking). Further 'Cumbric language' stretched as far as the Clyde - William Wallace came from Renfrew - a Cumbric place name. Wallace is a Cumbric name - Wallace means 'Welshman or foreigner). I class myself not as English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh but as a Briton - Gaelic is one of their languages. Yes the Romans/Vikings/Normans/Angles/Danes came and left. Those that stayed dominated for a while and then were assimilated. The invaders did not liquidate or annilihate the indiginous people (although your probably right the Vikings did murder a few). You support Argentina - I support peoples right to choose their identity and how they are govered - I would not force the people of the faroes/Greenland to be taken over by the UK simple because we are closer than Denmark. Similarly Isle of Man has its own Parliament (although obviously they have some connection to UK).
11 Faz (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 06:23 pm Report abuse
Gibraltar shouldn't worry, in September after the German elections the Club Med countries are going down the plughole big time. Spain is going to have so many problems that the Gibraltar problem will go onto the back burner for years. The Euro crisis will explode as the Eurozone disintegrates. The 'King Canute' job that Germany has been doing will finally collapse. Argentina is going to be filling up with fleeing Spaniards.
12 A_Voice (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 06:43 pm Report abuse
@10 Alan
The Britons......Celts occupied Strathclyde (P Celtic).......not Scottish Celts (Q Celtic) ......the Angles didn't assimilate they wiped out the Celts in mainland England (modern day) areas and largely obliterated even the place names......all you see now is Thorpes and By like you mentioned both Viking then all the Tons.......Egton etc from the Angles.......Drive over the A66 and see them sitting by each other. That's because the Angles were closely related to the Vikings and they did assimilate but not the Celts...............different race altogether. Driven by the Anglo/Saxons to the Celtic Fringe.....Cornwall.....Wales.....Scotland.....some parts of Liverpool....
If you are not from those areas, likely you are Angle or Viking......the Saxons were further South......even Offa as in Offas dyke bordering Wales was Angle.
Cumbria was also annexed by Yorkshire but occupied by Norwegian Vikings.....much more vicious than the Danish Vikings of Yorkshire.....they wouldn't have tolerated Celts!
13 Briton (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 06:54 pm Report abuse
boy just how far back can one go,

its nice to see we are of so many, yet argies from so few,

and yet Africa beckons them all .

argies did fine the spannish for intruding into argentine waters,

perhaps we should have the argentine navy in gibralter,, problem solved, the spannish cant afford a million
14 Vestige (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 07:07 pm Report abuse
#3 Conqueror

oh dear god. lolol
15 alan (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 07:23 pm Report abuse
Cumberland - land of the Celts (part of the fringe Cornwall/Wales/Scotland) - You have obviously never been to a 'show/sports' around Cumberland- you will see Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling - the other places where similar wrestling takes place - the Celtic areas spreading to Brittany.
Rheged - Ancient kingdom
Are you actually saying the Vikings stopped at the border. In those days there was no Border (no England/Scotland). The Vikings were a marine people (in my view) - they stayed by the coast or used Rivers (e.g. Ouse/York) to navigate. They may have ventured inland a litle way but not into the interior - in those days it was all forested and plenty of places for people to survive. What the Vikings were after were the monastries and the wealth. Extent of the Danelaw
From the above can you see Cumberland was not in the Danelaw
16 Conqueror (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 07:44 pm Report abuse
@4 Thank you. I've reviewed your comment. It seems to me that you are either a tosser hoping to rely on bravado or an immature wanker incapable of recognising that there is a point where “diplomacy” ends. Spain, being a useless piece of shit similar to yourself, thinks it can push this “forever”. Getting close. The UK likes to resolve disagreements “peacefully”. On the other hand, decapitating Spaniards is very satisfying. Algeciras and its mayor are quite similar. Been there. They stink!
@7 MY favourite colour is the colour of your blood!
@12. So desperate. Is your “comment” of any relevance? Do you get paid by the word? Don't be shy. We won't tell. Although we can't guarantee that argie “intelligence” services aren't monitoring every keypress. Do they interrogate you and believe you before they shoot you? I wouldn't. I think shooting you in the gut and walking away would be very satisfying. Wandering off and listening to you die. In agony. I like that. Serves you right for being an argie!
17 Brit Bob (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 07:55 pm Report abuse

You are right. A good course of action would be to close the border temporarily, say for a week and see how the 10,000 or so Spanish workers respond to the lock-out. Gibraltar will survive easily just from the cruise ships and air traffic visiting the rock.
18 A_Voice (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 07:57 pm Report abuse
@15 Alan
Are you kidding me the Angles and the Vikings obliterated places names name some Celtic place names in England!
I'll do it for you......the word in Cumbria....means Hill..Hill..Hill.....the last one Howe is Viking. The Esk Valley,,,,,,,Esk means water and anything with Craig....means Rock or outcrop Crag! and that's about it.
Take out a map and take a journey over from Yorkshire to Cumbria......anything you see ending in BY is Viking anything ending in Thorpe is Viking anything ending in Ton is Angle and also used by the Saxons. Now get out a map or Google and have a look.......The Angles and the Vikings Wiped out the Celts in your Area.....You are Not a Celt......stop deluding yourself......Penrith has the highest concentration of Norwegian Viking DNA in the whole of the UK check it out.......You are Not a Celt!!
So forget the Gaelic and live in the real world of English......Anglish!
For goodness sake Appleby in Westmoreland.......Viking
Kikby Lonsdale.......Viking
Temple Sowerby......Viking
Thorpe Thewles.....Viking
Right across England.......West to East.......Coastal my Arse!
Do I have to go on?
Do some bloody research before posting!
19 alan (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 08:15 pm Report abuse
18 A_Voice
Kirby Lonsdale - Not Cumberland
Milnthorpe Not Cumberland
Temple Sowerby Not Cumberland (on the border)
Penrith - Cumberland / Westmorland border - half mile South
Appleby Not Cumberland
Do you know the borders of Cumberland?
If you don't believe (again) the Danelaw
As usual you have not quite got the facts right.
20 Britworker (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 08:19 pm Report abuse
The only possible consequence to Spain's stupidity is the increased fortification of Gibraltar and deriorated relations with the UK and a fellow NATO ally, it's just such a stupid course of conduct.
21 Anglotino (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 08:43 pm Report abuse
Just as Argentina does to the Falkland Islands, Spain is repeating the same mistake.

All Spain is doing is boosting resolve, entrenching a separate identity and squandering its few goods points.

The UK plays the long game and doesn't fall for populist stunts like Spain. What was the longest stretch that Spain shut the border down for? And how much closer were they to getting what they wanted afterwards?

22 A_Voice (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 08:47 pm Report abuse
@ 19 Alan
I said Cumbria.....not Cumberland........haha just accept defeat.......
read and weep......
Why is a stream called a beck?
Many Lake District names come from the Norse settlers in the tenth century for example: beck (stream), dale (valley), gill (gorge), tarn (lake) and thwaite (clearing).

Where are Cumberland and Westmorland?

These are the names of the old counties which contained the Lake District. They were merged with parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire to become Cumbria in 1974. The names still live on in Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, Cumberland sausage and local names such as the Westmorland Gazette newspaper.
YOU ARE NOT A CELT! and it is you that doesn't have your facts right.
Get to the Chopper.......
I just can't take you seriously anymore after that clip in the Boxing ring.........Put em up!........That has got to be you!
Is it my fault that you don't know anything about UK history?
You just like playing Armchair General don't you?........Uzi 9 milimeeeeetre.....
23 GeoffWard2 (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 09:08 pm Report abuse
To have Rules of Engagement
you not only have to be willing to engage
and then have the balls to follow through.
The Rock is a small discrete target, so the counter-target would have to be a large Spanish city, such as Cadiz ...
An issued warning that an attack on the Rock or its people would have an automatic response on Cadiz might focus minds a bit and stop this playing of games.

I guess this is well within the scope of the British armed forces; it certainly is the core of the rules of protection that the British accepted when it defined Gibraltar as an Overseas Territory.
24 alan (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 09:25 pm Report abuse
@22 A_Voice
My father is from Ayrshire, so even according to your definition I must have Celtic blood.
In my original posting, I said there were many Viking names - now please look up Cumdivock/Cummersdale and their meaning.
The whole point is that you confuse Cumbria with Cumberland. Your comments above are just cut/pasted from sources that I recognise - mostly CUMBRIA tourist websites. I have never said that Westmorland was Celtic. In my original post I mention Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling and its origins - In fact the wrestlers from Cumberland go to Celtic wrestling world championships. You still have not referred to the Danelaw map. You went to see one of Scotlands tallest structure being demolished - your ego was it?
25 Pete Bog (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 10:00 pm Report abuse
This is echoes of Argentina pulling out of oil agreements with the Falklands, then complaining about their resources being nicked. And the fact that if Argentina were friendly with the Falklands, there would be many RGs headed to the Falklands to work (and get decent wages like the Chileans have done).

So as you rightly allude, Spain are in deep shit financially so many Spaniards depend on Gibraltar's relatively superior economy for their livelihood. The Spanish version of logic( discounting cause and effect) is to put their countryman's jobs at risk.

Perhaps with all the border delays, the Gibs should shut the border and wait for the Spaniards dispossessed of work to complain to the Spanish Government.

The Spanish like the Argentines, mistake the British reluctance to jump in and rock the boat for weakness, but are constantly unaware of the' 11th hour British mentality (we rarely take any action before it is nearly too late), that has won us more conflicts than we have lost.
26 A_Voice (#) Jul 29th, 2013 - 10:43 pm Report abuse
@24 Alan
.....a clue is in the word Danelaw.......Danes.......Cumbria and Cumberland was occupied by the Norwegian Vikings not the Danish Vikings!
Ayrshire......full of Sassanachs.....and Picts before them!
27 Anglotino (#) Jul 30th, 2013 - 12:04 am Report abuse
Pete and Geoff

You have to wonder why Spain is rattling its sabre so much at the moment. The Spanish government is clearly unable to solve its economic issues and this has dragged on for years now.

They have had a population drop as recent immigrants head back to their home countries that are doing much better economically. Taking with them skills and investment. They are also losing some their own best and brightest who have been heading off to places like Germany, again taking their skills with them.

Spain's economy, a country of 47 million people and double Australia's, has dropped behind Australia. Equally worrisome for the Spanish government is that the population drops are concentrated in the 0-4 year cohort and 15-40 cohort.

This will compound as the 0-4 cohort is future workers and taxpayers in 20 years. And the 15-40 cohort is the most productive and innovative age group in an economy. Spain's recession is going to have massive repucussions into the future.

But it would seem that Spain has again backed down anyway and everything has returned to normal.

Now for Catalonia I guess. Spain really has bigger worries than Gibraltar.
28 alan (#) Jul 30th, 2013 - 02:37 am Report abuse
@26 A_Voice
The Vikings were in Ireland - Are you saying that the Irish are not Celtic. I think you have a problem. Have you not assimilated well into society. Are you sure these Norwegian Vikings were not split into miniature kingdoms? I think you will find 'Norway' wasn't unified at this time. As usual, if you don't know, make it up. As in my original post I said that there were Viking place names all over but you obviously don't read the full text. You should really try to assimilate a bit more?
29 Anglotino (#) Jul 30th, 2013 - 03:22 am Report abuse
Anyway back to Spain.
30 screenname (#) Jul 30th, 2013 - 09:43 am Report abuse
Some of my ancestors were celts from Cumbria. Why is Thinko pretending to be Scottish again?

Don't really see what that has to do with protecting sea life off the southern coast of Iberia. Spain wants a protected zone but take a massive huff when Gibraltar enforce it: sounds like Spain is a country with mental health issues.
31 aussie sunshine (#) Jul 30th, 2013 - 10:32 am Report abuse
close the border now!! If the Gibs love gib so much why do they
line up seven hours to get out!! in the extreme heat??
Nice to hear that the Russians are slowly overtaking the English in visitors to Spain. Russians with families and well educated with plenty of money instead of the drunken trash that has been coming from the UK in the last decade and the suicode jumpers that like to jump from balconies to swimmining pools. GOOD RIDENCE. More Russians PLEASE!!!
32 Briton (#) Jul 30th, 2013 - 03:22 pm Report abuse
And with the Russians will come violence , corruption , fraud , criminals,

Seems to me, you would be replacing one type foe another of the same.
Never know Russia might even lend you a few bob, they are looking for a naval base, perhaps Spain will accommodate..
Just an idea
33 aussie sunshine (#) Jul 30th, 2013 - 03:39 pm Report abuse
“ The few bob” are coming from the Russian tourists who stay longer in Spain and spend 50 per cent more than these “ trash” coming from The UK!!

34 Briton (#) Jul 30th, 2013 - 03:45 pm Report abuse
NO not yet,
35 aussie sunshine (#) Jul 30th, 2013 - 03:53 pm Report abuse
Go before the locals throw you out!! The locals have had enough of this trash coming to their towns! There is a anti British movement starting in small towns not only in Spain but in Turkey (where British tourists have been stabbed) and Greece (where another British tourist was stabbed) . People in these towns have had enough....
36 LEPRecon (#) Jul 31st, 2013 - 04:28 am Report abuse
Spain is doing the usual thing of trying to push the British into some form of rash action, so then they can go crying to 'mummy' about how they are being bullied.

However, they seem to forget that in today's world EVERYONE can see what is going on ALL the time, with 24 hour news coverage around the globe.

Spain is making itself look like aggressors, bullies, spiteful and idiots, with their current behaviour.

And when they do push too far and the British give them a good slapping, they will cry to 'mummy' only to be told that it is their own fault.

Spain is going down the tubes fast. Expect to see increasing civil unrest as the current government are paralysed, unable to do anything to guide Spain out of the financial dead end they've run into. This sudden revert to old distraction tatics won't work on the Spanish people anymore.

@35 fake aussie

You do realise that Gibraltar has been British far longer than it was ever Spanish, don't you?

You see the whole Iberian penisula used to belong to the Roman Empire, then the Vandals pushed the Romans out and settle there. then in 711 AD, the muslims pushed the Vandals out, and stayed there until 1502 AD.

In 1713 the Spanish King cede 'in perpetuity' Gibraltar to the British.

So Gibraltar was Muslim for 791 years, Spanish for 211 years, and British for 300 years.

So as you can see, the Spanish claim is the weakest out of all the claims.

Also, tell me fake aussie, when are you going to leave Australia and give it back to the aboriginals? You imperialist oppressor you.

As for British tourists, they are some of the most generous people in regards to tipping, in the world. Spain, Greece, Turkey would not be happy if British tourists stopped spending all that money in their countries.

You don't understand economics very well, do you? I reckon you are actually Argentinian.
37 JuanGabriel (#) Jul 31st, 2013 - 08:51 am Report abuse
@31 In the most recent stats there were 13.6M British tourist visits to Spain, there were 0.9M Russian Visits, so I doubt they will be overtaking any time soon. In any case they are probably starting to go to Spain because places in France and Austria etc started banning them or putting quotas on them
38 Briton (#) Jul 31st, 2013 - 02:58 pm Report abuse
aussie sunshine cares not,
speaking on behalfe of the spannish goverment,
he wants us replaced by their new friends the russians..

if only he understood,lol
39 screenname (#) Aug 02nd, 2013 - 10:21 am Report abuse
@36 LEPRecon: “give it back to the aboriginals” etc,etc

Don't start with the petty snipes, that's why all these pathetic malvinista accounts are set up - divide and conquer. All this utter rubbish pretending to be an aussie/scot/canadian/ex-RM (...have I missed any?) is aimed at trying to divert from the obvious justice in the Falklander cause.

I don't know why anyone is even responding to aussie sunshine: the account brings nothing by gibberish to the thread.

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