BRITAIN’S Foreign Office says it is “concerned” over comments made by Spain’s foreign minister, Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, who said the introduction of a €50 border crossing fee and closure of airspace to planes heading to Gibraltar airport were being considered.
He told Spain’s ABC newspaper that tax investigations into thousands of Gibraltarians who own property in Spain could also be launched.
The comments come after recent “disproportionate checks” at the border which saw some people waiting up to seven hours in sweltering heat.
Gibraltar has complained to the European Commission, saying the checks violate EU rules on free circulation.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are concerned by today’s comments on Gibraltar, which we are looking into further.
“We will not compromise on our sovereignty over Gibraltar, nor our commitment to its people. We continue to use all necessary measures to safeguard British sovereignty.”
Gibraltar’s Chief Minister added, “People in Gibraltar will no doubt remain very calm in light of the continued provocations which have appeared in the Spanish press this weekend. In this light, I welcome the statement by the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon William Hague today confirming that the United Kingdom will be seeking explanations from Spain in respect of their recent statements and actions. Sabre rattling and threatening of the sort attributed to Senor Margallo today do nothing for the establishment of strong cross frontier relations.”