Gibraltar: Spain

House of Lords written question – answered on 30th July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Patten Lord Patten Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 10 July (WA 78), when they intend next to raise within the European Union the issue of unlawful incursions by Spanish vessels into British territorial waters.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The Government regularly raises Gibraltar with EU partners and the EU institutions. We have made it clear to Spain that unlawful incursions are unacceptable. We have not asked the European Commission or any other Member State to take any specific action in relation to incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters because they have no locus on this issue.

The main focus of our lobbying within the EU remains Spain’s unlawful, unjustified and disproportionate action at the border. The Government is pleased that a second border monitoring mission was sent to Gibraltar on 2 July 2014, following concerted lobbying of the European Commission. We have also been very clear to the Commission and other Member States that Spain’s attempts to suspend Gibraltar from EU aviation legislation are unacceptable. We lobby on other Gibraltar issues within the EU as required.

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