Announcement

Incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign Office today summoned the Spanish Ambassador in order to underline the British Government's concerns regarding recent incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

Today Simon Fraser, Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign Office, summoned the Spanish Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Federico Trillo, in order to underline the British Government’s concerns regarding recent incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

The Minister for Europe, David Lidington, said:

“The UK has repeatedly made diplomatic protests to Spain over attempts by Spanish state authorities to exercise jurisdiction in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. Yet on 13 November there were two further serious incursions. A large Spanish naval ship conducted a prominent patrol through British Gibraltar Territorial Waters lasting several hours. Later on the same day a Spanish customs vessel sought to apprehend a Gibraltarian civilian boat in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, forcing the Royal Gibraltar Police to intervene in order to safeguard the welfare of the four occupants.

“I condemn these provocative incursions and urge the Spanish government to ensure that they are not repeated. We believe that it is in the interests of Spain, as well as Gibraltar and Britain, to avoid any incident that may damage the prospects of developing a harmonious and collaborative relationship between Gibraltar and Spain. It is also in all parties’ interests to avoid incidents which could put at risk the safety of those operating in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. We remain confident of UK sovereignty over British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and fully committed to protecting the interests of the people of Gibraltar and their wish to remain under British sovereignty.”