UK Navy helicopter swoops over Guardia Civil vessel in Gibraltar waters

LAST UPDATED: 24 May, 2014 @ 19:47
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UK Navy helicopter swoops over Guardia Civil vessel in Gibraltar waters

THE UK Foreign Office has admitted a Royal Navy helicopter swooped down on a Spanish Guardia Civil vessel when it entered Gibraltar waters, after initially denying the eye witness reports.

Witnesses reported seeing a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter ‘buzz’ the patrol boat Rio Cedena while it was in Gibraltar territorial waters on Friday.

At first the MoD said there was no intervention by a helicopter when the boat sailed into Gibraltar waters at 7:30 in the morning, spending nearly half an hour in the Bay, and defying warnings by the Royal Navy.

There was a second incursion by the same vessel at around midday, although it was only in Gibraltar waters for a few minutes.

Witnesses again reported having seen the Royal Navy Lynx – which arrived in Gibraltar with HMS Northumberland – swooping low near the Rio Cedena during this second incursion.

Initially, the Foreign Office said the helicopter was not involved in any operation regarding unlawful incursions. However, late on Friday night a different line emerged.

A spokesperson confirmed: “HMS Northumberland and a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter conducted a routine sovereignty patrol of BGT.”

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29 COMMENTS

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  1. About time the Royal Navy took action. Spain are looking to establish another Crimea.

    I take from your comments that the two Spanish enclaves on the Morocco side also have no territorial waters?

  2. Anselmo, if Gibraltar hasn’t got any territorial waters as all of you spaniards argue, then why doesn’t your government take this matter to the UN courts and have this matter settled once and for all. Ill tell you why your own government doesn’t do it. They know they haven’t got a leg to stand on and know that they would lose the case.

  3. Another lie there from Anselmo.

    Treaty of Utrecht doesn’t talk about territorial waters at all – why? Because the concept did not appear until much later. So the Spanish crown didn’t have them to give to the British crown, they did not exist at the time.

    Gibraltar legally has territorial waters, read the text of UNCLOS (UN Convention of the Law of the Sea), which Spain signed which confirmed this. When Spain signed the treaty she added a little note to say it doesn’t apply to Gibraltar. Sadly for Spain, the treaty text says signatories can not do that, and if they do, notes have no legal effect or meaning.

  4. Anselmo

    Under the terms of UNCLOS Gibraltar has been awarded territorial waters. The ICJ Gulf of Maine judgment clearly states that territorial waters cannot be delimited ‘unilaterally.’ IF Spain feels the need to delimit Gibraltar’s waters it must do this ‘via arbitration’ or ‘with agreement.’ The PCA Guyana/Suriname judgment also dealt with ‘historic title’ argument in regards to bays, confirming that ‘the median line in any bay takes priority over any argument regarding ‘historic title.’

  5. This whole thing is only about the Spanish government diverting their citizens attention away from their hopeless economic situation and very high unemployment numbers. One greatly admires the UK for not joining the euro.

    Perhaps the RN should place an explosive boom line around British Gibralter territorial waters? Then if the Spanish civil guards wish to blow themselves up, so be it!!

  6. Let’s go back in order to go forward.
    Our dear diminutive, the great, asexual General Franco, accepted the meridian line separating La Bahia de Algeciras from the Bay of Gibraltar. So much so that he lay a series of buoys demarcating this. It worked well for many years, creating an understanding between law enforcement agencies on either side without the need for the patrolling of both respective navies.
    Now, if this little excuse for a human being accepted this during his dictatorship, why are his democratically elected but similarly minded PP government questioning this now?
    Surely it makes sense–you keep to your side, we keep to ours and we will co-operate when we need to.
    Ulterior motives my friends, ulterior motives.

  7. Let’s go back in order to go forward.

    Issues involving Gibraltar at local level can be addressed in meetings between the Junta de Andalucía and the Government of Gibraltar, where as issues involving territorial waters, border control and sovereignty can be addressed between the UK and Spain.

    Of course, the Government of Gibraltar will come out with their needs, wants and rights and will do all they can to stall negotiations which is not a problem for Spain, because it is necessary to go back to before the Córdoba agreement in order to go forward.

    The Government of Spain can wait it out while it blocks all legislation involving Gibraltar in the EU.

    At least we have in common that we all want more Europe, don’t we?

  8. General Franco? As we would say in Ireland: “he was some boy!”

    It is very simple, the Spanish authorities keep in their waters and the British authorities stay in theirs, which they do.

    Given the vast coastline around Spain, and their enclaves across the water, the complaint equates to a guy with £1,000,000 on deposit in a bank and complaining that he should have received 1p more in interest over the last 10 years!

  9. This is so funny…… a spaniard who thinks spain will get gibraltar one day…… the rate the “spanish” are going it may be the only land left…… my apologise to all Catalans & Basque for calling you spanish….ill wash my mouth out.

  10. Ciudadanos
    The latest European election results reflect a disaffection with the main political parties and, indeed, with the EU in general.
    New and imaginative ideas need to come to the fore if the great European experiment is to succeed.
    If we localised the issue and cooperation became the order of the day in the area surrounding Gibraltar, we could become the example of economic progress and social development that would be the envy of our continent.
    Sadly, PP politicians, unwilling to accept the status quo, keep hitting themselves against a brick wall preventing this cooperation and all the benefits that would come with it, mainly for the Spanish inhabitants of the “comarca”.

  11. Ll Fifi, in using the term “comarca”, I take it that you view Gibraltar as being a local region of Spain?

    In your using of this term, that would surly employ that Ceuta and Melilla are both “comarcas'” of Morocco? As such they do not have “Spanish” territorial waters surrounding them?

  12. @BritBob

    You’re flogging a dead horse again I’m afraid. You know very well that Spain has never accepted UK jurisdiction over the UK unilaterally declared ‘British Gibraltar Territorial Waters’.

    Given the loud bleatings from the UK and its colonists in Gibraltar every time they are presented with further evidence that Spain does not accept British jurisdiction in those waters, you would expect that the UK would be keen as mustard to try to legally enforce its alleged ‘rights’ under UNCLOS through international processes.

    The fact that it studiously chooses not speaks volumes about the alleged ‘legitimacy’ of its unilateral claims. Until the UK is able to do so, Spain will continue to completely ignore any and all British attempts to assert jurisdiction in the Bay of Algeciras.

  13. FurtherBeyond. And you can produce some evidence that backs up your point of view? An UNCLOS judgment or something from the PCA? If you can’t back up your statements with evidence then what you are saying is pointless.

  14. I am not surprised that the Spanish colonies across the water are completely ignored. Oh yes, the British have them, the Spanish do not sorry I forgot! Would that also include the islands off the African Coast?

  15. @BritBob

    What evidence are you seeking? Are you questioning the fact that Spain has never accepted UK jurisdiction over the UK unilaterally declared ‘British Gibraltar Territorial Waters’?

    Or are you questioning the fact that Spain continues to completely ignore any and all British attempts to assert jurisdiction in the Bay of Algeciras?

    There is ample, publicly available evidence for both propositions. All you have to do to satisfy your new found thirst for evidence is to spend a few minutes going through the archives on Gibraltar provided by the Olive Press.

    Seriously, it’s not that difficult. All you have to do is open your eyes.

  16. @Sensible Paddy

    Your attempt to link Ceuta and Melilla with Gibraltar is simply another red-herring designed to obfuscate the fact that the UK is maintaining an illegal colony in the heart of continental Europe, in breach of multiple UN General Assembly resolutions mandating that the UK decolonise Gibraltar.

    Firstly, Ceuta and Melilla, are not recognised by the UN as colonial enclaves. Unlike, Gibraltar, they are not listed on the UN list of territories awaiting decolonisation. These territories pre-exist the creation of the Moroccan State – they were Spanish hundreds of years before Morocco existed.

    In contrast, Gibraltar was colonised by the UK while it was an integral part of the Kingdom of Spain, displacing the Spanish population that previously existed there.

    Secondly, it is pure obfuscation to insist, as the UK does, that Gibraltarians have a right under the principle of self-determination to remain British and determine the nationality of the territory they occupy.

    Under international law there are territorial limitations to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves. This is the case with Gibraltar. In such cases, the residents are not the indigenous inhabitants of the territories and are, in effect, the beneficiaries of colonial rule. The rationale being that it would be perverse and contradictory to condone past colonialism on the strength of a principle (self-determination) which was primarily designed to dismantle colonialism.

    The UN General Assembly has passed a number of resolutions on the issue. These resolutions focused on the ‘interests’ and not the ‘wishes’ of the Gibraltarians precisely because the current inhabitants of Gibraltar do not have a right to self-determination as defined by the UN. The UN, and hypocritically the UK, refuse to recognise the results of self-determination referenda in the Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine for these very reasons.

    The UN has repeatedly invited the UK to participate in discussions to achieve the de-colonisation of Gibraltar. Unfortunately, however, the UK continues to rely on a discredited interpretation of the principle of self-determination to turn a deaf ear to those requests in a clearly self-serving way.

    It’s worth noting that the current British enthusiasm for the principle of self-determination in the case of Gibraltar, is not matched with its position on the Ukraine or the occupied territories in Palestine and was certainly not matched by the response to the inhabitants of Diego Garcia, also a British Overseas Territory, who were evicted by the UK in 1971 against their wishes because the United States wanted the island as a military base.

  17. ah Further Beyond, And I suppose you are going to also tell me that you would support the Germans making the same assertions in the case of the Russian enclave of Kalingrad?

    This was an actual part of Germany prior to WW2, that is the war that followed after your own civil war in which the Germans played their part!

    in the case of Kalingrad, the Soviets transported the German population to Russia after the war and planted it with Russians. So today you would back Germany asking for it back and attempting to get heaven with the Russians? That could lead to war. Spain ceded Gibraltar to Great Britain, long before you were born and it will still be British long after you have gone, get over yourself!

    The North East of Ireland was caught up in what became known as The Ulster Plantation, long before I was born. Do I accept that? Yes, it makes no difference to my life if it is British or Irish, I don’t live there. it is part of the United Kingdom. We are afforded the luxury of crossing the border @120kph or 75mph, no EU citizen is hindered from doing so. But will Spain allow me an Irish / EU citizen to cross into another EU state unhindered? No! and why? because the Spanish Government want their citizens attention focused on Gibraltar and not on the their hopeless economic situation.

    In regard to the UN, I think perhaps there are parts that you have not looked at. In regard to your two patches across the water, it is true to say that Morocco lays claim, and what about the islands in the Atlantic?

    In the treaty of Utrecht, the Spanish signed a treaty with wording very similar to: “Gibraltar be British now and forever without exception”. This was signed on your behalf, accept it and concentrate on improving Spain for you and the other good people of Spain. Or perhaps ask Gibraltar to rule The part of of Spain that the Basque and Catalans do not want? That just might ensure a better quality of life for the Spanish people.

    Gibraltar is British, Northern Ireland is British, The Canary Islands are Spanish, Kalingrad is Russian, Ceuta is Spanish, The Channel Islands are British, Melilla is Spanish, that is how it is accept it and get on with your short life, it is passing you by, indeed all of us by.

  18. FurtherBeyond. Evidence such as ICJ UNCLOS judgment Romania/Ukraine where the Court determined that statements made by Romania on ratification had no bearing on how UNCLOS is applied? Or the ICJ UNCLOS Gulf of Maine judgment that determined that delimitation can not be applied unilaterally? Or the PCA case between Suriname and Guyana which stated that the median takes primacy over any ‘historic title’ when it comes to delimiting shared bays? You need to produce some factual evidence to back up your claims otherwise your comments are worthless.

  19. At this point of the debate, I would just like to thank Fabian Picardo for dropping those concrete blocks into Spanish waters because that was a real wake up call for Spain as to what your intentions really are.

    Three major points for Spanish policy on Gibraltar:

    1) Block all legislation involving Gibraltar in Europe.
    2) Tight border controls to limit smuggling and tax evasion.
    3) Avoid allowing the issue of Gibraltar to get in the way of an excepcionally good relationship with the UK, I country we admire and respect.

  20. Ciudadanos, you are far to late on number 3…
    The UK is ver p*ssed of at Spain’s attitude, and a slapdown is coming very soon. Most probably the first move will be to veto Spain’s aim of gaining a temporary seat on the UN security council.

  21. Good luck Ciudadanos, if you push too hard on points 1 and 2 you will ultimately fail with point 3, and considering Spain is a net receiver of EU funds, and always has been, and the UK is a net contributor, and always has been, you would end up a little short…

  22. Dropped concrete blocks into British Gibraltar waters to stop Spanish fishermen from illegal fishing and to create a reef for sea life.

    On point 3, I am not so sure about that.

    On point 2, we had a major problem with goods being smuggled from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland. That was not a UK problem, it was our problem. Eventually the government realised how unfairly goods were taxed in ROI, and reduced taxes. These days smuggling is not an issue with the exception of diesel and petrol being smuggled into Northern from the South. But that is a UK problem, not our problem if they have high taxes on fuel. Has the UK blocked the border and created a fuss? NO!!

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