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UK Armed Forces minister shows the flag in Gibraltar waters

Saturday, December 14th 2013 - 06:34 UTC
Full article 27 comments

UK Minister for the Armed Forces said that a very, very long and continued presence in Gibraltar, with no defense cuts for the foreseeable future and full support of sovereignty were the key ingredients in the UK message he brought to the Rock. Before meeting Gibraltar authorities the minister took a tour of British Gibraltar waters with the Royal Navy. Read full article

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  • Clyde15

    I think that makes the position clear. Spain take note !

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 10:33 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker

    My guess is that Spain will close the border again before they decided to take Gibraltar militarily. There is no way the EU are going to force 30,000.00 people to became Spanish against their will either.
    The Spanish government are just going to enter a long phase of making life as difficult as possible for them until they are ousted and a new government is in place. I think the whole thing is not winnable for the Spanish, it is literally impossible to take Gibraltar against their will in a modern Europe.

    Europe needs countries that pay more than they take and cause as little trouble as possible. Spain causes trouble, is not paying its way and needs handouts. I'm not sure how much more patience they can expect from the bill payers.

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 11:15 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    @2 Keep trying to tell them. Buy hi-speed catamaran ferries and small civil aircraft. Sack all Spaniards working in Gibraltar. Government-owned and operated air and ferry routes to France and Morocco. CLOSE the border from Gibraltar's side. Make it impossible to cross the border by air, land and sea unless authorised. Constant armed patrols. Automatic cannon are good. The list of “laws” Spain breaks is considerable. Breaches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and European Convention on Human Rights. Invasion of British territory. Firearms offences in British territory and against British Gibraltar nationals. Illegal “executive” actions in British territory. Gibraltar needs to extend its territorial limits to the legal maximum. And enforce them. Step ONE: Arrest illegal vessels and occupants. Permanent confiscation of arrested vessels. Five years gaol for individuals. Step TWO: Open fire with warning shots. Step THREE: Final warning. Leave NOW or be sunk!

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 12:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Bongo

    @2

    What has a modern Europe got to do with it? It's been impossible for Spain to take Gibraltar against the will of its people since the 18th century.

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 06:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pete Bog

    Great that HMS Bulwark delivered the Governor.

    You would have thought that Spain would be grateful that it shares a border with a British country-apart from Spain being in NATO-no one is going to attack the South of Spain with the Brits there are they?

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 07:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Mr Ed

    It seems that the Minister's Army days were in the TA, which is a start. However, he is basically saying 'Stuff you, you are on your own.' to Gibraltar over Spanish incursions.

    If anyone is wondering where the rations got to, it would be most impolite to ask the Minister first just because of his physique.

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 08:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    5 - pete. no-one is going to attack Spain with or without the Brits.
    Staggering that people still assume outright, for no apparent reason that Spain doesn't have a very strong military.

    lmgtfy - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Army#Combat_vehicles
    So whos invading.

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 11:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    NATO troops against NATO troops ??

    NATO member against NATO member??

    EU member against EU member???

    Do you think so ???

    Dec 14th, 2013 - 11:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    Do I think anyones going to attack the south of Spain ??

    with or without Brits, Mongols, Prussians or Babylonians ??

    - No.

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 02:44 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    7 vestige

    “5 - pete... Staggering that people still assume outright, for no apparent reason that Spain doesn't have a very strong military. ”

    not sure what you're getting at or why you feel you need to post a link showing Spanish military 'strength'??

    Are you showing that as a deterrent to a British attack against their NATO ally??

    You're deluded.

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 04:26 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    @6 Have you noticed that, of late, more British warships are spending time in Gibraltar? Have you noticed that Spanish activity drops off when the Royal Navy appears?
    @7 Yep, Spain's military, in manpower terms, is 36% the size of Britain's. It has slightly more than 50% of the number of military aircraft. The Spanish Navy has about 50% the number of ships the Royal Navy has. Just as a simple measure, the Spanish army has 327 main battle tanks. The UK has 407. BUT, and this is most important, Spain uses the Leopard. The UK fields the never-beaten Challenger 2.
    So, “strong” by whose measure?
    @10 It's fair to consider the military aspect. Spain is treading a line. It thinks that, because of EU and NATO membership, the UK won't use military force. BUT, when Royal Navy warships visit Gibraltar, they invariably carry out a “sovereignty patrol”. Haven't noticed Spain “complaining”. But there is little difference between spaniards and argies. “Strong with the weak, weak with the strong”. Love to see a spanish civil guard boat get in the way of a Royal Navy destroyer. And get cut in half. It's fair to say that the British armed forces could wipe the floor with spain. None of those “one hand tied” love taps that Britain has handed out in various places. A full-on “kill and destroy” approach. Wonder if the spanish civil guards have considered what the Royal Artillery could do to their little pleasure boats? Or perhaps the Army Air Corps with its Apache attack helicopters. Is the UK justified in using military force? Unauthorised incursions into British territory? Attacks on British citizens in British territory? Firearms offences? Smuggling? Theft? As a start, the UK should change its “rules of engagement”. The next “warning” issued to an intruding spanish vessel should include “Leave immediately at your highest speed and by the most direct route. We are authorised to use deadly force and shortly intend to open fire”. And I bet RN personnel would like that!

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 11:49 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Mr Ed

    @11 no I haven't, and when an RFA vessel was in Gib recently, I was there and I personally saw 2 CG patrol boats pass within yards of it between it and the Gib docks. No response from the RN onboard at all.

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 12:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    Apparently we noted some things of interest,
    1, whilst the minister did a round of British waters, not one Spanish tough guy was seen
    It seems they only come out when the big ships have gone,
    2, we heard that queen Elizabeth carrier will be moored in Gibraltar,
    And they are making sure that it fits,
    3, and the royal marines will be increased,

    So they say.

    Still,
    Spain may well break up soon, the way its going…
    .

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 04:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    10 - Troy. Try to follow, focus on whats written rather than what you've taken up in your imagination.

    Pete - “no one is going to attack the South of Spain with the Brits there are they”.

    Nobody is going to attack Spain.

    Britain being there or not being there in no way changes this.

    Heres an extended list of countries that could fathom the concept, even in the simplistic worlds of Pete and conqueror.
    1 - France.
    End list.

    Id really like to question Petes reasoning, if Britain leaves the south of Spain tomorrow, who is Spain suddenly in fear of attack from.

    11 - bonquers
    Nobody really cares if Britain has a bigger military than Spain. Just on plain old numbers alone, all other factors aside, Britains simply not capable of invading Spain.
    Britain couldn't land enough personnel, if landing craft were ever to even arrive, I believe I've explained this to you before.
    You should be careful what you wish for. A RN destroyer cutting a guardia civil boat in two - would see the arrival of many many empty trucks and buses to Andalusia about 10 hours later.

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 05:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Xect

    Ah Vestige still in denial about which military is the most powerful I see.

    You're still making the mistake of thinking we would need to land huge numbers of troops which is all very old fashioned. The British military could easily gain air/sea superiority which would then be game over for Spain since everything else in a modern combat situation revolves around those two areas.

    Spain would never pick a military fight with Britain since anyone with half a brain would realise it would end in a very painful loss for them.

    Fantasies about buses to Andalusia are about as likely as Argentina having a respectable economy.

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 06:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    Im not in any denial about which country between Spain and G.Britain has the strongest military. That would be G.Britain.

    And its entirely irrelevant.

    Fantasies about buses to Andalusia are about as likely as RN ships cutting up Guardia civil boats, or Britains presence in Gibraltar being any kind of re-assurance to Spain.
    Spain needs to be minded by Britain about as much as Britain needs to be minded by the US airforce bases in England.

    And for the record Britain couldn't do anything “easily” in such a scenario, and any victory would most definitely require ground forces.
    The flip side of being connected to the European continent being that you're not as easily cut off as an island.

    Please understand that when I descend to the depths often required in mercopress its only to rescue some special people in here and bring them up to reality.

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 08:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    16 Vestige
    “Fantasies about buses to Andalusia are about as likely as RN ships cutting up Guardia civil boats, or Britains presence in Gibraltar being any kind of re-assurance to Spain.”

    And yet, in the same post, here you are, pointedly implying that Gibraltar is militarily indefensible along its land border with Spain, unlike the Falkland Islands.

    “And for the record Britain couldn't do anything “easily” in such a scenario, and any victory would most definitely require ground forces.
    The flip side of being connected to the European continent being that you're not as easily cut off as an island.”

    As I stated earlier, it is ridiculous to think of two NATO allies facing each other militarily, regardless of how feasible you feel it is.

    Hypothetically, before that happens, I could see GIB civil authorities intercepting GC small craft as “dangers to navigation” at least.

    What do you think will happen when that escalates into interfering with legal commerce in GIB Territorial Waters?

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 10:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    As I said Troy, it has to be done...occasionally, if certain people would think, or rather assume without reason that Spain is somehow weak, in need of a British presence, or would do anything less than tear ass if a foreign nation purposely sunk one of its police/military vessels, then I must be caring enough to tenderly guide them back to reality via facts.

    I dont know where you got the Nato vs Nato thing in the first place. I replied to the nonsense which is Pete thinking Spain somehow militarily needs or appreciates Britain on its south coast.
    To which you brought up the how Eu/Nato countries wont fight each other.
    Perhaps you took the wiki link as a threat, that would be a very sensitive interpretation.

    Dec 15th, 2013 - 11:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • aussie sunshine

    Another Torrie Crook comes out of the woodwork!! Stephen Hammond MP for Wimbledon has been using a Gibraltar offshore account to reduce his tax bill!!
    And I thought there was no corruption in The UK!! A 500,000 pound villa in Portugal all paid from a Gib account while the social services in Britain are faling apart . No wonder they send battle ships to Gibraltar!! hahahaha they have to protect fort knox!!That is the place where the Brit Politicians keep their cash!!
    www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10427970/Stephen-Hammond-Labour-attacks-Conservative-ministers offshore-deal-cuts-tax-bill.
    or this other crook accepting bribes by using his political influence:
    www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10092646/Patrick-Mercer-caught-accepting-cash-for-questions-inundercover-filming.

    Dec 16th, 2013 - 12:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    Assume without reason that Spain is somehow weak, in need of a British presence

    No nation is technically that weak, that it stands their whilst another invades it,

    Spain, is in a mess, and drives back to the good old Franco days, [so it seems]
    The government is doing no more than other corrupt or incompetent governments,
    To hide the truth from its people, it uses anything as an distraction to divert from them, to others, without thinking of the consequences,

    This seems to be a South America trait used by Spain, and some African countries,
    The Spanish government in this instance, care not that people are suffering,
    But one silly mistake, one nervous soldier, one trigger happy sailor, could send this spiralling out of control, and lead to military conflict,

    All decisions have consequences,

    The EU and NATO, should impress on Spain of its stupidity and arrogant actions,
    Its our sons and daughters that will suffer Spanish arrogance
    Still,
    It will not get that far, Spain will be forced to back off humiliatingly,
    As the future of the great Euro dreamland will be at stake.
    So they say..

    ..

    Dec 16th, 2013 - 07:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pete Bog

    @18

    “Pete thinking Spain somehow militarily needs or appreciates Britain on its south coast.”

    The UK is there to defend Spain against Argentina -because we are good to our friends in Spain-just think how many jobs the Spanish get out of Gibraltar because Spain is too impotent to provide its own people with work.

    Our Spanish comrades will cheer with unbridled joy when the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier visits Gibraltar after completion. The QE's F35 aircraft will say hi to the Guarda Civil boats, whose jolly sailors will cheer for the good old Royal Navy there to make Spain safe for ever.

    Dec 17th, 2013 - 12:24 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    Briton I dont even know what that was. Something along the lines of Spains not getting invaded followed by some rant about franco, south america and euros. Bizarre.

    Pete much the same - telling me how Spain is broke and trying to tie that to Spain somehow benefiting from Britains presence on the Spanish coast.

    Maybe the sailors and airmen of the QE will be welcomed with open arms by a couple of hundred tanks parked in lalinea, and maybe some eurofighters will do a flyby ..... how many of them ... well the same number as aircraft carried....plus 1.

    Dont try to rise above your station. When visiting Spain just remember who has the bigger one.
    Britain may have an even bigger one at home, but it cant be there, in that sense its 'impotent'.

    Maybe that comes as a bit of a... 'slap in the face'.

    Dec 17th, 2013 - 04:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pete Bog

    @22 Vest
    “Maybe the sailors and airmen of the QE will be welcomed with open arms by a couple of hundred tanks parked in lalinea, and maybe some eurofighters will do a flyby ..... how many of them ...”

    A few UK Apaches will take the tanks out out, and the Spanish may have to sell some of their Eurofighters as they don't have the money to purchase them all.

    The tanks would never get to Gibraltar because the Guarda Civil would make them wait by checking every soldier's passport, so it would take a week for the tanks to cross the border.

    Also once the Spanish toy tanks are taken out (by Apaches, or maybe a squad of 4 SAS troops? ) they would form a barrier that prevents the rest of the conquistadors from rolling in.

    Useful for Gibraltar though-they just take the pollutants out of the tanks them use them to increase the size of the reef.

    Anyhow if the Spanish catch glimpse of a single SAS squad they will surrender and garland them with flowers.

    The Spanish will join all the sailors on the QE for a good knees up and a shared rendition of Rule Britannia.

    Dec 17th, 2013 - 05:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    And then we'll all fly back to Blighty.

    We'll take the spruce moose !!
    Hop in !!

    .... I said 'hop in'.

    Dec 17th, 2013 - 06:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    22
    pretty simple

    Dec 17th, 2013 - 08:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    Just like the inverse argument.
    My result at that level being the more realistic in any case.

    Dec 19th, 2013 - 04:29 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pete Bog

    @26
    Not really-the Spanish version of reality is the vast amounts of white flags held in their vehicles/aircraft kit.

    When have the Spanish last fought any war-?I seem to remember they quit Afghanistan quickly.

    Their problem is (and they think it is an advantage) that Gibraltar is a small target, however Spain is a large one.

    Dec 22nd, 2013 - 10:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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