Gibraltar: Spain

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 18th September 2015.

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Photo of Lord Luce Lord Luce Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of recent incidents involving Spanish customs boats entering British Territorial waters around Gibraltar, and what action has since been taken.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

Recent illegal incursions by Spanish Customs vessels into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) are unacceptable and unlawful under international law. Incursions are a violation of sovereignty, not a threat to it. They do not weaken or undermine the legal basis in international law for British sovereignty over Gibraltar, including BGTW.

In response to the incursion on 22 August we protested to the Spanish government at a high level and secured their assurances that they will respect the importance of safety at sea. Working closely with Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar, we have agreed with Spain to step up law enforcement cooperation in the fight against organised crime.

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