Gibraltar: Spain

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 5th September 2013.

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Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Conservative, Gosport

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans the Government has to increase the powers available to the Gibraltar Squadron and the Royal Gibraltar Police to deal with incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

Royal Gibraltar Police powers are a matter of Gibraltar law. The British Government's response to incursions is kept under review, including the use of Ministry of Defence assets. The Government's overarching commitment to ensure the security, prosperity and development of all the British Overseas Territories was set out in the Queen's Speech in Parliament on 8 May. We take this commitment seriously and we do not rule out any measures that are necessary to defend Gibraltar from a genuine threat to its security or defence. However, while the incursions of the Guardia Civil are an attempt to assert Spain's legal position in respect of the waters, they do not weaken or undermine the legal basis for British sovereignty over Gibraltar and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. Nor are they acts of war. The Government's assessment is that the structures and procedures of the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron are adequate to deliver their current tasking.

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