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EU team begins collecting data on Spain/Gibraltar border crossing row

Thursday, September 26th 2013 - 05:28 UTC
Full article 9 comments

A team of European Union inspectors are visiting Gibraltar to investigate a border row that has caused diplomatic tensions between the UK and Spain. London and British Overseas Territory Gibraltar complained to the EU that Spain's over-zealous checks on border traffic were holding up workers and tourists. Spain accuses Gibraltar of not doing enough to combat cigarette smuggling. Read full article

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  • LEPRecon

    Oh so its now cigarette smuggling. Last week it was because it was a tax haven. The week before that it was because of environmental issues. The week before that it was because of a 'supposed' incursion into Spanish waters. The week before that it was because they had laid down concrete blocks.

    The Spanish are changing their story so frequently that their desperation is showing through. The know that if the EU rules against their so-called 'border' checks, that they have lost more than just face.

    Sep 26th, 2013 - 06:13 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Islander1

    Spain - do please produce a list of the numbers of tobacco smuggling intercepts you have made at the border and the amount of tobacco found at each time in the last 6 month - OR - shut up.

    Sep 26th, 2013 - 09:24 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    “Gibraltar, though, said the strict checks came after it dropped 74 concrete blocks into the sea next to its territory, intended to create an artificial reef and encourage sea life to flourish.” Bit of inaccuracy there. The blocks were dropped INSIDE Gibraltar's territory. Territory that Spanish poachers regularly and illegally invade. The Bay of Gibraltar is approximately 5 miles wide. In accordance with UNCLOS, half that belongs to Gibraltar. There have been suggestions that the British government is giving consideration to extending Gibraltar's territorial waters to the maximum possible in each direction. That would be two and half miles in the Bay, but 12 miles to the east and south!

    Sep 26th, 2013 - 10:18 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pete Bog

    ”A group of Spanish workers who have to cross the border to get to work followed the inspectors, waving signs protesting about the border queues.
    A spokesman for the group - the ASCTEG - said it would have been “sensible” not to announce the inspection and let the inspectors “see what the queue is really like”

    Lol, the Spanish workers can't wait to complain!!!

    Sep 26th, 2013 - 11:03 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Justthefacts

    I would be happy to be proven wrong, but the lethargy the inspectors have shown in even just getting to Gibraltar leaves me with little optomism about what they are going to actually do about the issue.

    My bigger question is: just what is the British Government's plan for when the EU does nothing and the blockade simply continues? Surely it should have a series of measures all pre-planned and ready to implement, repeatedly if necessary, to cause immediate and severe economic pain to Spain literally within hours of any blockades starting at the Gibraltar border?

    Sep 26th, 2013 - 11:23 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Musky

    @jtf
    It's taken a long time to get them there. Spain has no doubt reduced the delays.... this kind of thing cannot be hidden. Next step European court. Sue them.

    Sep 26th, 2013 - 12:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    @6 No! Constant overflights. Fully armed Typhoons and Apaches. With “rules of engagement” to fire on anything intruding in Gibraltar territory. Anything. Rowboats, pedalloes, jetskis, poacher boats, state crap. Two and a half miles of the width of the Bay of Gibraltar belongs to Gibraltar. Spain must be taught either not to lie or to accept consequences. A hundred years ago, Spain might learn to be honest.

    Sep 26th, 2013 - 03:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • St.John

    1 LEPRecon writes: “Oh so its now cigarette smuggling. Last week it was because it was a tax haven”

    You ain't seen nothing yet - next week it's planned to be a cigarette haven and tax smuggling ,-)

    @ 2 Islander1 - precisely!

    Sep 27th, 2013 - 07:35 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    I checked out the crossing personally three or four days ago - a couple of hours seems about right as an average wait-time. But it is much more than this when the (Spanish) workers need to cross at the start and the end of the working day.

    I was there to see the annual march-through of the troops who received through this action the right to bear arms on the 'island'.
    The island was a mass of Union/Gib. flags and the march-through was clapped by all the islanders as it passed.
    It might be an expensive place to live but these island-people and their language are intensely and vocally British to their core.

    Sep 27th, 2013 - 12:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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