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Spain prepared to take UK to the EU Court of Justice over Gibraltar waters

Tuesday, November 26th 2013 - 20:34 UTC
Full article 27 comments

Spain’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete, said Spain would take the UK to the European Court of Justice if the European Commission failed to take action over reclamation works in Gibraltar waters. Read full article


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  • Anglotino

    Please go ahead Spain.

    All disputes like this should go before the appropriate court or tribunal. Juvenile actions such as those recently demonstrated by Spain should be avoided.

    But why did it take this long?

    Nov 26th, 2013 - 08:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    Spain is just two faced,
    and this is nothing but a threat to get support for them, against us,

    its a none starter.

    Nov 26th, 2013 - 08:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ljb

    Fill yer boots Spain. Bring it on.

    Nov 26th, 2013 - 09:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JuanGabriel

    @1 indeed, although the fact that Spain resorts to the actions it has done before going down the correct channels suggests they already know the outcome

    Nov 26th, 2013 - 10:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Musky

    Going down the legal path is the only way but they will loose. Territory and territorial water, Gibraltar are on solid ground.

    Nov 26th, 2013 - 10:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • slattzzz

    Do it and standby to get severely fucked over

    Nov 26th, 2013 - 10:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Room101

    Presumably, he's taking the Gibraltarians to court, too; poor, downtrodden colonists... Catalonia and the Basques- they'll back him up.

    Nov 26th, 2013 - 11:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • St.John

    I wonder if the UK prime minister (obviously somebody named Neville Chamberlain) is prepared to establish EU nature sites around the 25 artificial reefs in Spanish waters.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 02:55 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    I wonder why Brits have problems with everybody.
    Spain over Gibraltar.
    Argentina over Malvinas.
    Chagossians over Diego Garcia.
    Greeks over the Elgin marbles.
    India over the Koh-i-noor diamond...

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 04:26 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    I'm sure you wonder at a lot of things in life.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 04:32 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DanyBerger

    “Spanish position that the Treaty of Utrecht gave the UK no rights over the waters surrounding the Rock”

    Well that sounds pretty clear for me...

    Poor Britain none wants her...

    It is not sad?

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 05:43 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    10 Anglotino
    The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 05:49 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Lord Ton

    Marvin - you possess so little knowledge that life must be a permanent 'wonder' to you :-)

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 06:00 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    13 Roger
    I wonder why this British historian is so right :-)
    British Empire

    “Three years later, the British did formally leave the islands and they passed into the Spanish Empire for the next forty years. This arrangement was formally recognised by the British in the 1790 Nootka Sound Convention by which Britain formally rejected any colonial ambitions in 'South America and the islands adjacent'. It also reflected a weakening of British power in the Western Hemisphere coming shortly after the embarrassing loss of the 13 colonies partly thanks to French and Spanish intervention.

    The Spanish claim on the islands would falter with the South American Wars for Independence at the start of the nineteenth century. The Spanish removed their formal representative and settlers from the island from 1810 and completed it by 1811. The islands were left to their own fate for the next decade as sealing and whaling ships might call in from time to time to take advantage of the harbour and fresh water. It was not to be until 1820 that the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata would send a frigate to the islands in order to assert their control as part of the legacy of post-colonial Spanish claims to authority there. Buenos Aires would appoint their first governor in 1823”

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 06:08 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • reality check

    Spanish intervention in the American War of Independence, must have missed that bit of history?

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 08:15 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Teaboy2

    @14 - You fail to mention how Britain never relinquished its claim to the island, or that it was the establishing of colonies in or adjacent to South American colonies, and that Patagonia was not part of the then colonised northern part of the South Americas.

    ”The first Nootka Convention plays a role in the disputed sovereignty of the Falkland Islands between the United Kingdom and Argentina. Article VI provided that neither party would form new establishments on any of the islands adjacent to the east and west coasts of South America then occupied by Spain. Both retained the right to land and erect temporary structures on the coasts and islands for fishery-related purposes.

    However, there was an additional secret article which stipulated that Article VI shall remain in force only so long as no establishment shall have been formed by the subjects of any other power on the coasts in question. This secret article had the same force as if it were inserted in the convention. The Nootka Convention's applicability to the Falklands dispute is controversial and complicated.

    The United Provinces of the River Plate was not a party to the convention. Therefore it is defined in the convention as 'other power' and the occupation of the settlement (at Port Louis) by subjects of any other power negated Article VI and allowed Great Britain to re-assert prior sovereignty and form new settlements ”

    You also forgot to mention that the creation of any other sovereign power in South America, actually meant Great Britain was then free to re-assert its previous sovereignty claim on lands adjacent to that other powers coast!! - So your own successful fight for independence negated you of your right to claim the Falklands Islands.

    You also failed to mention that Spain did not have any territories (Patagonia etc) adjacent to the Falkland islands at the time, so both Spain and Britain were free to establish colonies on the Falklands anyway!

    So sorry Marcus, but you lose yet again!!

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 08:27 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • reality check

    Researched it, appears the French tried to get the Dons to come on board for an invasion of England, didn't come off. Spain was hoping to recover Gibraltar and Minoraca as a result of British Forces being committed elsewhere.

    The Spanish Governor of Louisiana did raise forces which captured Mobile and Pensacola from the British and that's it.

    The Spanish were worried that a revolution against a King might spread to their adjacent colonies. They declared for the Americans 18 months after the French.

    As it turned out, three decades later, they were right and that was thanks to the French.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 08:45 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • lsolde

    Why do you always set yourself up to fail?
    You've been shot down, yet again.
    And why does Argentina have problems with ALL their neighbours?
    Maybe not Brazil as you are too terrified to upset them, for fear of what they can do to you.
    When does Argentina intend to return the land that you stole from Paraguay in 1871.?
    You are a nation of hypocritical popinjays, Marcus.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 09:55 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    Where do the Spanish and their little cousins across the Plate get all these stupid, stupid people to “run” their country.

    I think Camoron is a moron, but he still has a brain of sorts, he just lacks the guts to do anything with it, but these people are just lunatics.

    I don't know what Cañete is drinking with his breakfast but he should put more water in it before he sends Spain on a losing course.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 11:17 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    @9 So many things have been said to you that I don't believe there's anything new. Here's a bit of “knowledge” for you. The font of all knowledge can be located in the in the middle of the crater of any active volcano. Off you go.
    @11 The Treaty of Utrecht gave Spain no rights over any waters anywhere. I'm happy. WE can go anywhere. Back to the good old days when British warships would sink Spanish vessels on sight. Also pretty good on shore bombardment.
    @14 Desperate lunge back to a discredited website. Even its owner says that “it doesn't purport to be historically accurate”. And refused to respond after he was challenged. But go with it, Margot, make yourself look more stupid than you already are.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 11:41 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Don Alberto

    I wonder if Marcos Alejandro is sitting in a padded cell in some asylum.

    What he quotes in #14 has time and again, using sources in the Argentine Archivo General de la Nación in Buenos Aires, been shown to be wrong. Why does he go on and on quoting known nonse?

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:04 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • andy65

    @Marcos Alejandro, Not sure why anyone talks with this idiot who is more than happy to live in The UK because Argentina is not a fit country to live in -HIS WORDS,Marcos Alejandro if you save up hard enough there is a daily British Airways flight that can take you back to Paradise but for sure you will not be leaving any time soon will you??

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • LEPRecon

    Forget the European Court of Justice. Come on Spain, put your money where your mouth is and go to the International Court of Justice. The one's whose findings ARE legally binding.

    But otherwise, come and have a go if you think you're hard enough.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 04:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Brit Bob

    Please, Please Spain, take your case to the UN ICJ.

    Interesting to note that Romania made declarations when they ratified UNCLOS regarding fishing, secondary interests and uninhabited islands but the UN ICJ stated,

    paragraph 33,

    'Finally, regarding Romania's declaration, the court observes that under Article 310 of UNCLOS, a state is not precluded from making declarations or acceding to the Convention, provided these do not purport to exclude or modify the legal effect of the provisions of UNCLOS in their application to the State which has made a declaration or statement. The court will therefore apply the relevant provisions of UNCLOS as interpreted in its jurisprudence in accordance with Article 31 of the Vienna Convention, the Law of Treaty of 23 May 1969. Romania's declaration as such has no bearing on the Court's interpretation.'

    Spain's declarations regarding Gibraltar that they made when signing UNCLOS are I R R E L E VA N T...

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 04:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • aussie sunshine


    Nov 27th, 2013 - 05:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 25 aussie raincloud

    A few questions:
    1) do you understand what 24 Brit Bob is saying?

    2) just in case you do not: Spain CANNOT preclude Gibraltar from the provisions of UNCLOS regarding territorial waters.

    3) just to make it crystal clear: Gibraltar’s 3 mile limit is LEGAL and Spain cannot do anything about it.

    Now you can rant and rave in capitals as much as you like. Idiot.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 06:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Biguggy

    Please do not also forget that the ICJ has also stated, twice, that ALL NSGTs have the right to self-determination. Gibraltar is, according to the UN, a NSGT.

    Nov 29th, 2013 - 10:06 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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