Spanish government vessels have unlawfully entered British territorial waters around Gibraltar more than 600 times since the start of 2013, according to official figures. There were 496 incursions in 2013 and 112 in the first three months of 2014, the figures disclosed by Foreign Secretary William Hague revealed.
The busiest month for incursions was August last year, when 68 Spanish vessels entered British Gibraltar waters at an average rate of more than two a day.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The Royal Navy challenges Guardia Civil and other Spanish state vessels whenever they make unlawful maritime incursions into British Gibraltar territorial waters.
“We back this up by making formal diplomatic protests to the Spanish Government about all unlawful incursions. Our challenges and protests make clear that such incursions are an unacceptable violation of British sovereignty.
“We are confident of UK sovereignty over British Gibraltar territorial waters under international law. We make our position clear to the Spanish Government whenever appropriate and we will continue to uphold British sovereignty and use a range of proportionate naval, police and diplomatic responses to incidents”
The Spanish Ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Office earlier this month after an incursion resulted in a collision with a Royal Gibraltar Police vessel.
Europe Minister David Ludington said the activities of the Spanish state research ship and its accompanying Guardia Civil vessel had not only been “unlawful” but were also dangerous.
He told ambassador Federico Trillo that the UK Government would take “whatever action we consider necessary” to uphold British sovereignty and protect Gibraltar.
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Incursions: 600Apr 16th, 2014 - 06:22 am 0
In other words zip, nil, nada, zero, sweet F all!
At least Putin's incursions contain weapons.
Don't talk about it, Mr Foreign Secretary, DO something about it.Apr 16th, 2014 - 08:15 am 0
Sink a couple of them,
Guaranteed, no more will turn up.
lts the only thing that these people understand.
Being nice & wishy-washy only encourages them.
No wonder they think we are weak & can be taken advantage of.
Ba gum, l wish l was running the Foreign Office.
@2 IsoldeApr 16th, 2014 - 09:32 am 0
I disagree. As tempting as it is to just 'open fire and sink' them, it would be wrong and playing into the hands of the Spanish. The Spanish want an 'incident' so they can run to the EU and UN and show how the British are bullying them, poor defenceless Spain.
The British are playing this smart. Collect evidence against them. The next stage should be to seize these Spanish vessels, arrest the crew, and fine them.
And if the Spanish want their vessel back they can pay the Gibraltarian government the impound fees.
Now that would stick in Spains craw, wouldn't it?
And the Spanish can then cry all they want to the EU and UN, but the British will say, We have been very patient. Look at the number of incursions. We have asked the Spanish government numerous times to stop and they have ignored us, and instead increased the number. So now they face the full force of British law.
And no country in the world would put up with another country constantly infringing on it's territory like this.