Gibraltar: Spain

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 4th March 2014.

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Photo of Jim Dobbin Jim Dobbin Labour, Heywood and Middleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters by Spanish state vessels occurred in (a) December 2013 and (b) 2014 to date; and on which dates and by which Spanish Agency each of these incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters took place.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

There were nine unlawful incursions into British Gibraltar territorial waters by Spanish state vessels in December 2013 out of a total 496 for the whole year, averaging 41 incursions per month. The breakdown by category is as follows:

  Number
Guardia Civil 6
Customs 1
Maritime Salvage 1
SP Navy 1

There have been 77 unlawful incursions in 2014, as of 28 February. The breakdown by category is as follows:

  Number
Guardia Civil 53
Customs 11
Maritime Salvage 6
Pilot Vessels 5
SP Navy 2

We continue to make formal diplomatic protests to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about all such incursions. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks), raised his concerns with the Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Gonzalo de Benito, on 20 February. Unlawful incursions do not weaken or undermine the legal basis for British sovereignty over Gibraltar territorial waters.

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