Published On: Wed, May 15th, 2024
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UK clashes with Spain over Gibraltar after ‘military manoeuvres’ | World | News


Spain and the UK have clashed over alleged military manoeuvres off the coast of Gibraltar.

According to reports, the Spanish government has lodged a formal complaint against the UK and warned that the Royal Navy manoeuvres, which allegedly involved blank munition, should not happen again.

Ahead of the exercises, the Gibraltar Port Authority warned on X/Twitter that there would be high-speed boat activity and the firing of blank munition.

Posting on March 6 they said: “New Local Notice to Mariners Military Training in BGTW – Tues 12th March from 9am to 11am. A SURFEX with high-speed manoeuvring and blank firings East of Gibraltar.”

Speaking to Vozpópuli following the manoeuvres, La Moncloa said: “In these protests, the government of Spain condemns the carrying out of such manoeuvres in Spanish waters and asks the United Kingdom to take the appropriate measures so that this type of action is not repeated.”

The latest incident comes as tensions between Spain and the UK intensify. In recent weeks there have been reports that Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron may have to “surrender” the port’s airport to Spain.

London-based think tank The Bruges Group has warned that Britain could be on the verge of a “monumental sellout” as it tries to maintain sovereignty over Gibraltar.

Writing on X, a Bruges Group post written by director Robert Oulds said: “MPs are right to be concerned about negotiations over Gibraltar. All indications are that a monumental (and unnecessary) sellout is on the horizon.”

A subsequent post added: “Negotiations over Gibraltar are taking place behind closed doors and with minimal oversight from MPs. It is highly likely that the resulting abomination will be presented as a fait accompli. This is underhand, unacceptable and has echoes of the NI Backstop.”

However, fears that any agreement between the UK and EU would jeopardise Gibraltar’s ties with the UK have been rebuffed by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “The suggestion from the European scrutiny committee that I or any Gibraltarian chief minister or politician would sign up to terms that would weaken our sovereignty, control or jurisdiction over a single inch of the Rock is abhorrent to me and to all Gibraltarians.

“Were I to agree to even a hint of that, my cabinet and I would not survive walking even a single imperial yard down Main Street, Gibraltar. I understand Parliament’s anxiety to know the terms and implications of any UK-EU agreement for Gibraltar that is reached. They will be satisfied.”

Express.co.uk has approached the Royal Navy for comment on the exercises.



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