31st July 2012

 

For the third time in three months the Spanish Guarda Civil have exercised jurisdiction over British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. The latest incursion took place late July and most worryingly, the Guardia Civil have taken their actions to a disturbing new level by detaining a boat and Gibraltarian crew legitimately fishing in British Waters.

 

This is the latest in a long line of recent Spanish incursions carried out by the Guarda Civil, with each transgression being more serious than the last.

 

It is self-evident that the Spanish authorities are using the issue of their sovereignty dispute to deflect public and media attention from its domestic problems. The economic success of Gibraltar provides thousands of jobs for Spaniards who cross the border daily. I believe that the Spanish authorities should be looking at ways of increasing cross-border co-operation rather than harassing legitimate Gibraltarian fishermen.

 

I am highly frustrated that the incursions are not just continuing but are escalating. It is obvious that the current diplomatic 'slap on the wrist' by way of diplomatic protests is not working and that stronger action is needed.

 

This intimidation has got to stop. I have written to the Government calling on them to take steps to stop this kind of cross border nonsense.

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