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FCO outlines issues and calls for restraint ‘on all sides’ in Gibraltar/Spain fishing dispute

Monday, September 17th 2012 - 05:32 UTC
Full article 15 comments
Sir Adrian Johns: upholding British sovereignty and protecting Gibraltar’s interests” Sir Adrian Johns: upholding British sovereignty and protecting Gibraltar’s interests”

The upholding of British sovereignty and protecting Gibraltar’s interests are the key issues for Governor Sir Adrian Johns in the current fishing dispute involving Spanish fishermen and the Spanish authorities.

Further to media comment to the effect that the Governor has urged restraint only from Gibraltar, The Convent yesterday issued a statement setting out to clarify that its recent statements in response to media questions have explicitly called on “all sides” to show restraint, and to reiterate that point.

“Sir Adrian has publicly praised the restraint and professionalism shown by the Royal Gibraltar Police, the Royal Navy and the Gibraltar Defence Police throughout their handling of the fishing dispute. This is in sharp contrast with recent statements in the Spanish media and he has made his views clear that such statements will not help achieve a local resolution to the current dispute,” said The Convent.

It added that the Governor ensures that the UK is appraised of latest local developments regarding British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and the views of the Gibraltar Government, and that “these are taken fully into account in the UK’s political, diplomatic and naval responses to Spanish incursions and other threats.”

“From his perspective the key considerations are upholding British sovereignty and protecting Gibraltar’s interests”.

Last week the 18 British MPs who visited Gibraltar for National Day pledged they will urge the British Government to take a tougher stance with Spain in the row over territorial waters. The MPs were briefed in detail by the Gibraltar government on the recent events and were also able to witness firsthand the strength of feeling on the Rock.

“I think all of the delegation that’s here understands that behind closed doors in London, we need to be talking very, very frankly to the Foreign Office about the issues that confront Gibraltar now and the expectation of Britain’s role in supporting Gibraltarians,” said Dawn Primarolo, a Labour MP and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.

Ms Primarolo, on her first visit to Gibraltar confessed she was impressed by the passion and unity she had seen and said there were many ways that the UK could persuasively convey its message to Spain, but also urged caution in the approach.

A somewhat less guarded message came from Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, who said Britain should harden its stance with Spain.

“The people of Gibraltar deserve to be given full support from the British Government over the incursions by Spanish vessels,” he said. He added the Royal Navy needs to ensure “that Spanish vessels that enter Gibraltar waters illegally are apprehended”.

Mr Rosindell later repeated the same message during an address from the stage. “I think the way you treat a bully is to fight back, not to give in,” he said.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • briton

    You call to much Sir,
    unless you are willing to enforce it,
    then it will just fall on deaf ears ..

    Sep 17th, 2012 - 10:30 am 0
  • soberanista

    As a Spaniard I must say that's ok with me. Keep restraining until our boys finish the job. Next stop: kick off the bunkering.

    Sep 17th, 2012 - 11:47 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    It would seem that the court ruling in Spain giving rights to control activities between Spain and Gib. take little note of international juristictions, national waters, EEZs, the Law of the Seas Convention, and many other world mechanisms to control bad behaviour.

    It remains to be seen if Primarolo and others have real balls.

    Sep 17th, 2012 - 12:09 pm 0
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