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Montevideo, May 22nd 2019 - 04:51 UTC

Gibraltar demands stronger UK action against incursions by the Spanish Navy

Wednesday, November 14th 2012 - 23:30 UTC
Full article 30 comments
 “Vencedora” sailing in Gibraltar bay   “Vencedora” sailing in Gibraltar bay

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”.

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.

Categories: Politics, International.
Tags: Gibraltar, Spain.

Top Comments

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  • Anbar

    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.

    Nov 14th, 2012 - 11:53 pm 0
  • Bongo

    If the Spanish try it again, the population of Gibraltar should line up along the water's edge, point and start laughing.

    Nov 15th, 2012 - 12:12 am 0
  • Betelgeuse

    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.

    Nov 15th, 2012 - 01:24 am 0
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