JULIE Girling has urged Britons to ‘boycott’ Spain in response to mounting tensions.

The Gibraltar and South-West England Euro MP posted a message on Twitter saying: “There has been enough talking, now there must be action. I urge constituents across the UK to consider taking their summer holidays elsewhere this year.

“Spain is not on our side,” she states.

Speaking out about ‘outlandish threats’ by Spain against the Rock and its citizens, and ‘menacing proposals’, the MEP calls for UK citizens to either take a ‘staycation’ this summer – holidaying in another part of Britain – or choose another foreign destination altogether.

“Citizens of Gibraltar will not stand for the Spanish bullying and intimidation. The imposition of a 50-euro charge to cross the border, and the closure of Spanish airspace to Gibraltar flights, is clearly impeding the movement of workers to and from Gibraltar,” Ms Girling states both on Twitter and on her own website, www.juliegirling.com.

“I believe the European Commission should launch legal action against the Spanish government,” the MEP concludes.

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79 COMMENTS

  1. Stuart, she’s one of the MEPs that represents the constituency that includes Gibraltar, so it’s 30,000 of her constituents who are being semi-blockaded.

    I’ll be going to Greece or Croatia, I’ve never liked bullies and frankly that’s how Spain is acting.

  2. Far better to go to Gibraltar, Portugal or Greece. They would appreciate you far more than the Spanish will.

    If you HAVE to go to Spain, then you could at least go to Catalonia, as the Catalans support Gibraltar. A recent letter sent to the Chief Minister of Gibraltar by one of the Catalan political leaders voiced their support and said that:

    “Your Freedom is our Freedom”.

    Catalonia and the Basque country want to split away from Madrid. They are the most prosperous regions of Spain and they have a distinct cultural identity. They deserve to become an independent state within the EU, with their capital as Barcelona.

    If you really must go somewhere hot though, you can do a lot worse than go to Gibraltar. I can honestly say that you cannot meet a nicer bunch of people and it feels very reassuring that they are British and multilingual, so there’s no fiddling with a phrase book.

    Gibraltar is a little bit of Britain in the Sun.

  3. well Rufus …ill still be going to spain ..but thanks for letting me know who she is ..like i said though ..WHO is she ..oh the spannish arent bullies infact spain is one of the nicest safest and friendliest places i know ..hope you enjoy greece or croatia …thats if you can get past the “semi” blockade that is ….

  4. Had my four weeks in Spain during July and will be back eight weeks today for my autumn fortnight. Been to Gibraltar on several occasions and used the airport there as my access to Cádiz but as for liking it, that would be a resounding no. I holiday in Spanish Spain where I am made welcome and my level of spoken Spanish is appreciated and frequently assisted in the nicest possible way.

    Saludos.

  5. It’s becoming frightening not only are the ordinary people being harassed and hassled trying to go about their lawful transit across border, but now we hear of threats to civilian aircraft approaching the runway, which no doubt will be have to be escorted by the RAF’s Typhoon’s (who’ll be fully armed) into Gib and even crazier talk of intercepting warships entering the harbour, who will defend themselves from any threats. These are potent weapons systems that can and will cause a lot of harm if used. All of this could so easily escalate and who’s going to accept responsibility then if someone is injured or killed as a consequence of this media hype.

    Does the UK government has contingency measures in place to evacuated us expats from a potential war zone once the shooting starts?

    It’s all the politics of the mad house.

    It’s now time to remove this as the main news item on Spanish media, something which is causing so many ordinary people to get inflamed by the continual barrage of propaganda dished out daily from Madrid and London,to the point were something serious can so easily happen. Isn’t it time to cool things down and return to normality.

  6. @Paul
    Things cannot return to normality. In fact they will get a lot worse. Spain cannot back down without losing face and Gibraltar/Britain will not back down because to do so would be a loss of sovereignty.

    As I interpret things at present, the Spanish media will keep up the rhetoric until someone (on the Spanish side) decides to do something rash and open fire.

    The British Government is already preparing for the worst. I cannot mention precisely how on an open BB, but measures are underway to ensure that Gibraltar has sufficient protection.

    Rajoy knows that he will never be re-elected. He also knows that it’s highly likely that the corruption charges will lead to a criminal prosecution. He has nothing to lose from pushing the nationalist button to gather as much support as he can from the far right.

    On top of that I’ve seen various information which indicates that several Spanish banks are on the verge of bankruptcy, over-loaded with Portuguese debt. There’s no way that Germany or France can bail them out. The Greek debt to GDP ratio is 175%, but shocking news is that the French ratio is now 174%. Although France earns far more than Greece, the fact is that their production figures are contracting.

    The green shoots talked about on the television today are only a 0.3% growth. But 0.3% is as close to 0% as nothing. So this may only be a speed bump improvement caused by German production growth.

    If Spain fails into a cataclysmic financial disaster, then they have nothing to lose going to war to distract everyone. The EU would be unable to stop them, because if Spain goes, then all the other Euro countries fail. It wouldn’t be a better time for Britain to leave the EU and UKIP will milk this for all it’s worth.

    If Cameron does not stand up to Spain, he might as well hand his office over to Farage right now. He stands no chance of re-election. So Cameron will stand up to Spain (as Maggie would) and if the shooting starts, he will have to take decisive action to end the war quickly, before Spain attacks the UK mainland. If that is the case, expect some fireworks – extremely big fireworks – to warn Spain of our resolve to win.

  7. @Paul

    I agree, trouble is the Spanish Government seem intent on escalating this on a day by day basis, now they are accusing Gibraltar of breaking EU rules on bunkering. So first it was in response to the artificial reef, then it was smuggling, then it was a tax haven, now bunkering, what will it be tomorrow. Not helped when retired generals are calling for British warships to be forcefully stopped from entering Gibraltar and ministers in the Spanish foreign ministry calling the British government liars and people who are not to be trusted.

  8. @Paul
    Preventing our warships from entering Gibraltar waters would take the dispute to the brink of war. Rajoy will not do that just yet. It would be madness. Besides, the only way he could prevent them entering would be to attack them. An unprovoked attack would bring an immediate response in kind.

  9. Many like to holiday in Spain, but they may not be so welcome if it is perceived by the Spanish that the dispute led to the financial collapse.

    Spain’s financials are diabolic at the moment. They have nearly 27% unemployed and over 60% of under 25s are out of work. Their economy is just ticking over on the support they receive from the EU, but several Spanish banks failed the ECB checks on their liquidity. They took on so much sovereign debt which is unrepayable, that it is only a matter of time before there is a run on these banks and they fail. Their failure would cause a cascade of other failures. If you remember what happened when Northern Rock failed, there were queues along high streets of people trying to get their money out. Now multiply that so that virtually every Spanish bank has the same – the banking system falls apart.

    On top of this, the Catalans are finally ready to seek independence. They are supporting Gibraltar as they see that Madrid is only using the dispute as a smokescreen for the corruption & economic problems. Catalonia is one of the richest and hardest working areas of Spain. If they seek independence, then it would cut off a sizeable portion of Madrid’s revenue. Plans have been laid to send the troops in to occupy Catalonia, but the Catalans will resist. If the Spanish do start fighting over Gibraltar, you can expect Catalonia and the Basque country to rise up and seek their freedom.

    Looks like the Inca’s curse is still after the Spanish.

  10. Nigel with all due respects to your expose which, although a possibility, sounds rather extreme in my humble opinion, as I know nothing about what might be happening in the side lines or in the corridors of power. It’s all very well for us to be prepared, just in case.

    However, there are, I am sure, many more ways to diffuse the situation than going into a full blown war which will benefit no one, even less Spain. Both UK and Spain are NATO partners, both are members of the European Union, and so far, thankfully, except for the queues, this has all been rhetoric and chest banging meant to distract the Spanish people from extremely serious goings on in the governing party. And the louder they can bang their chests and the more publicity they get in the Spanish media and the International media too, the more real it will sound, to the Spanish. The sense of self ridicule seems to have been relegated to second place to that of the ruling party’s survival.

    I am a firm believer that sanity will prevail and that either the EU or even NATO will put things into the proper order and perspective. There is no getting away from the fact that the waters around Gibraltar are British Territorial Waters. We know it, and Spain knows it. I rather doubt that Spain will take UK to the International Courts of Justice in the Hague on this, knowing full well that it has not got a leg to stand on. Gibraltar’s leaders have urged them to if they think they have the remotest chance of winning. They haven’t picked up that particular gauntlet, just yet.

    As to their threats on Gibraltar bunkering, Spain took that to the EU and it was rejected. It is legal and above board. Algeciras does it, so does El Ferrol, so how can they now go alleging that its ok for them to do it, but not so for Gib? What could happen is that Gibraltar could, if they wished, take them to court for using a valve they have in the middle of the bay running underwater to their refinery where tankers transfer crude oil from ships to their refinery when the proper and safer ports are busy there, to save them having to wait. This is done in the middle of the night, with the danger that poses of spills. The spills that they never recognizes as theirs.

    Let us wait and see what happens.

    Let us not overflow the cup just yet.

  11. @Inthename

    I doubt that anything will happen for months. Rajoy will try to string this out as long as he can. However, the Spanish media will tire of pumping out the rhetoric if there is no ‘development’. You can only stir the right wing for so long until they start beating their chests like hairy gorillas and take matters into their own hands.

    Cameron is moving very slowly. He’s threatened legal action, but would find it difficult to disprove that the increased checks to stop smuggling are not allowed. They may not be proportionate, but the courts may say that Spain was previously too relaxed, even though it was their own citizens that were doing the smuggling.

    The easiest way for Cameron to progress the issue is to interrupt Spain’s EU business in Brussels. The papers announced that this was under way. If Spain takes the issue to the UN, then we can veto any security council resolution (or rather the United States would), whilst highlighting the illegality of Spains actions because of UNCLOS.

    The Joker in the pack may be either the GC or the fishermen. We know that the GC are prone to firing their weapons when they want to steal a Jet Ski. So if the fishermen try a blockade and are arrested by RGP or RN, then the GC may try to interfere. That’s the moment I expect matters to go critical. I’ve suggested (over Twitter) to Fabian that he should ask HMG to ship down the LRAD they obtained for the London Olympics. Rather than arresting the fishermen, you can give them an ‘incentive’ to leave the blockade or lose their eardrums.

  12. You will only have a problem in Spain when the mass population believe the hype and then the tourists will stop going once a few stories are put on the UK news, it won’t take much to put off 50% of tourists and anyone else around who is over 5ft 5 inches . This should be the next threat from the UK to destabilize their tourist economy. That would harm Spain more than anything else and that would be my next threat or step if I were in the UK Government. They will hold back from this for a time but it will be part of a larger plan. Spain is risking a lot to gain very little. It is all diversionary tactics from their corrupt politicians who are in trouble.Nigel, I live in the South East of the UK but do I think we should split from the rest of the UK because we generate the vast majority of the wealth, no, what for, so we can have more politicians making up more jobs and turn us into Spain, no thanks.

  13. On an aside Nigel. If anyone is privy to any such information as you refer to namely

    “The British Government is already preparing for the worst. I cannot mention precisely how on an open BB, but measures are underway to ensure that Gibraltar has sufficient protection”

    I would be breaking the official secrets act signed by anyone privy to such information on an open BB or anywhere else in fact.

    Cheers

  14. Seeing that Julie Girling is M.E.P. for Gib. AND South West England. Could she have an axe to grind for places like Cornwall, when she urges Brits to have a “staycation in Blighty? But Nigel, “Gib. is a little bit of Britain in the sun”? All very well if you fancy a Britain frozen in aspic around the fifties, but hardly representative of Britain today, is it? Even Benidorm is closer to that. It sure would be interesting if all would-be Spanish visitors followed your suggestion of holidaying in Gibraltar. You’d have to be up early to claim a spot on the beach!

  15. @Stefano – LOL
    Yes, I’d have to be like the Germans and get up early to place my towel on the right spot. However, that’s the beauty of Gib, they don’t do that sort of thing.

    They are bringing in a floating hotel (Flotel) to Gibraltar harbour. It will increase the number of rooms dramatically and there are plans to develop certain areas with more accomodation. Gibraltar can increase it’s population. They haven’t developed the land reclamation on the Eastern side or reclaimed as much land as the Spanish have.

    I expect the Government to urge the majority of Brits who normally go to Spain to book their holiday in Portugal or Greece next year. Too late to persuade holidaymakers not to visit Spain this year.

    @Inthename
    “Tell me no secrets, I’ll tell you no lies”
    There’s no breach to say that some ships are visiting Gib. Everyone knows this, even the Spanish. I won’t elaborate, because it’s not wise to say anymore.

  16. @ Nigel Smith. This is just the kind of verbal diarrhoea that will get Rajoy and Margallo rubbing their grubby little hands because it will serve only to prolong the diversionary effect that had been planned right from the outset.

    Cameron is on holiday, Clegg, well, is he still around??, the TV channels have all but forgotten about it. All the huffing and puffing is just that because in a few weeks it will all go back to what it was. We all know the politicians will squirm their way out of the Bárcenas affair, Picard will stop his antagonising, Spaniards will continue working unfettered in Gibraltar and business in La Linea will resume normality.

    Your warmongering ‘rule Britannia’ attitude would close the border and airspace, lose many thousands of jobs (of both nationalities) and create a decade long rift between the UK and Spain. No thanks, go point your guns at Mugabe or someone.

  17. @amparo

    You appear to be working from false data.

    Cameron is back at his desk.

    The BBC are currently have a reporter on the Spanish side of the border and they’ve run several reports today.
    “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23712898”

    Clegg (despite his Spanish wife) should rescuse himself from any vote, but he’ll probably go along with COBRA whatever is decided. He has a better understanding of the Spanish & how they react. I also do – I was engaged to a Spanish girl for 4 years, but we broke it off.

    Rajoy will not be able to excuse Bárcenas, because not only the opposition see it as a means to remove him, but the Catalans see it as a means to an end.

    I do hope that the Spaniards continue to work in Gibraltar – they have to. There’s precious little work in La Linea as it is!

    There is no harm in pointing out to Madrid that if they continue to make something out of nothing, then they might not just be humiliated in the end, but the very shape of Spain will change forever.

  18. @amparo
    @inthename

    It’s important to play the psychology game. The one thing I learned from my ex was that the majority of Spain has:

    a) an inferiority complex because they used to be a great empire and now they are only a small cog in the engine of Europe

    b) they have an almost pathological fear of nuclear weapons, hence the refusal to let certain American ships dock years ago.

    c) they honestly fear that Spain may break up and if the Catalans get independence, then Spain would be a much poorer country.

    Rajoy may play the game as long as he feels it will be to his advantage, but it might run out of his control – as the GC did when they tried to steal the jet ski.

    Rajoy obviously wants to string this out to use it as a diversion from his domestic problems. He may even be considering using it to barter a deal with the EU, or to reduce his term in prison if convicted, or to feather his nest with any deal swung behind closed doors.

    Certainly the EU does not need a conflict. It would irretrievably damage relations with Britain and hand the next election to UKIP on a plate – even if they keeping making faux pas like today.

    I suspect that Rajoy will string this out, until it gets out of his control.

  19. With all due respect Mrs. Julie Girling, it would be much more advantageous for all, even for the Gibraltarians, trying to defuse this artificial fire, caused by an anomalous situation within the European Union. A mature political person, as it should be you, must respond wisely and not with a populace-like answer. Your response has nothing rational, just is like telling a poor man “I will not give you bread unless you recognize that I have the truth!” even if you win the argument you lose.
    Anyone with half a brain realizes that there is a problem that is not resolved with inflammatory rhetoric.

  20. nigel…..your living in the past old bean….nothing is going to happen so why scare people? the politicians will get round a table and wheel and deal…..and by the way people the good old royal navy ships you see in portsmoth dockyard are mostly gutted scrapyard jobs…..i could say more but im bound by the official secrets acts and would have to kill every one i told…

  21. @pg
    You would be referring to the four Type 22s, which are off to the scrap yard in Turkey. Most of the Type 42s are still awaiting salvage, but that’s beside the point. The real problem is the lack of experienced personnel. Most have been made redundant. Sure they can be recalled on the reserve list, but not for a while.

    The current strength of the Navy is a matter of great concern for all ex members of the Andrew. Any conflict would bring home to roost the decisions made by the PM in SDSR 2010. He was warned, but decided to get rid of the carriers & Sea Harriers in favour of keeping the Tornadoes. Bad choice. It reduces his options considerably should the shooting start.

    I seriously doubt that they will reach an agreement that is suitable to both GOG & Spain. The reef will stay and Spain refuses to budge.

    Unstoppable force meets an immovable object.

  22. @Nigel Smith.

    a)Cameron was yesterday reported to be holiday in the UK.

    b) I was referring to Spanish TV. The BBC and British press are well known to have a negative attitude Spain. Try reading how the Daily Mail reports on Spanish issues, you get the impression we live in some third world ghetto on Mars.

    c) What you call an “inferiority complex” is in fact a euphemism for the British “we know best” ideology. Spain is no more or less a cog than the UK.

    d) The “fear of nuclear weapons”, is fully justified because of the attempted cover up of the effects of the accident in coastal waters 50 odd years ago.

    e) When the Catalan’s are allowed to understand the consequences of independence they will soon lose their appetite for it.

    f) Clegg has NO understanding of Spanish sentiment, otherwise he would be here, on the front line, using his undoubted fluency (and doubtful skill) in brokering an agreement.

    @Jane….If you think this man should be a politician, I can only assume you are in the nuclear shelter business. Inflammatory rhetoric gets no-one no-where as history has proven time and time again. And the double negative is deliberate.

  23. Nigel Smith: “…. The one thing I learned from my ex was that the majority of Spain has: a) an inferiority complex because they used to be a great empire and now they are only a small cog in the engine of Europe…”

    Whereas, no one could ever say the same about Britain?

  24. @ Alun Whittaker

    Very fashionable to knock the UK these days surprisingly many disillusioned and uninformed Brits enjoy doing it. Well from someone who is informed may I point out that the UK is the fifth biggest military power in the world and the most powerful in Europe, it is also the sixth biggest manufacturing country in the world. Not bad for a little pimple of a country on the back side of Europe as many people like to refer to it. No we don’t have an Empire that spans the globe any more but then again who does.

  25. Well, it looks as if it will all kick off on Sunday. The Spanish fishermen had a meeting this afternoon and agreed to try and raise the concrete blocks from the Gibraltar reef.

    “http://www.intereconomia.com/noticias-gaceta/politica/quien-tiene-que-retirar-los-bloques-gibraltar-20130816”

    The Royal Navy ships arrive on Monday, so the fishermen are getting together to try and move them before the Royal Navy prevents them. Only problem is that the blocks weigh 12 tonnes each and they would have to send down divers to attach the lifting gear. Divers can be arrested and the Royal Gibraltar Police and Gibraltar Squadron of the Royal Navy will be there. Not to mention quite a few Gibraltarian divers, who may assist the RGP.

    The news crews have been alerted, so you may be able to watch the spectacle on News 24 or Sky News.

  26. Deborah: Don’t know how you got away with that dubious slander of a whole body of people. (probably outside of O.P.s range?)
    Speaking of which, when will The Olive Press stretch to Catalunya? AND Valencia of course?

  27. @Peter: So many Brits in Spain knock the UK as a covering exercise, they are trying to convince themselves they made the right choice.
    They spent years informing family and friends in the UK that their life in Spain was wonderful, now that things have turned sour they are trying to save face. They are up to their necks in debt, their property is worth half of what it was, they can’t make ends meet. They come onto message boards stating ‘they would rather die than go back to the UK’
    What they don’t know is that their family and friends and in the UK actually feel sorry for them.

  28. España tiene una colonia en tierras de otra persona – Ceuta y Melilla están en Marruecos, justo al otro lado del Estrecho de Gibraltar. España reclama estas tierras por Tratado (Lisboa, 1668), al igual que Gran Bretaña posee Gibraltar (Utrecht 1713). Los habitantes de Ceuta y Melilla tienen el derecho a la libre determinación y que quieren ser españoles. Los habitantes de Gibraltar también tienen el derecho a la libre determinación y que quieren ser británicos. España puede tener ninguna queja sobre Gibraltar mientras mantiene Ceuta y Melilla y el resto de islas de la costa marroquí.

    No hay fondos dudosos en Gibraltar. Gibraltar cumple con las normas europeas de impuestos y proberty sobre lavado de dinero y comparte información con el resto de los estados, con excepción de España, ya que España se niega a compartir su información fiscal con Gibraltar.

    Spain does have a colony on someone else’s land – Ceuta & Melilla are in Morocco, just across the Straits from Gibraltar. Spain claims these lands by Treaty (Lisbon 1668), just as Britain owns Gibraltar (Utrecht 1713). The people of Ceuta & Melilla have the right of self-determination and they want to be Spanish. The people of Gibraltar also have the right of self-determination and they want to be British. Spain can have no complaints about Gibraltar whilst you hold Ceuta & Melilla and all the other islands on the Moroccan coast.

    There are no dubious funds in Gibraltar. Gibraltar complies with European standards of tax & proberty on money laundering and shares information with all other states, except Spain, because Spain refuses to share their tax information with Gibraltar.

  29. @ amparo

    think that you should refrain from using comments of a personal nature, my comments of course still stand with regards to Nigel being a politician, he of course thinks differently and who can blame him.

    @Nigel your Spanish is amazing ! I live and work in Spain and have to put up with all these negative comments in the newspapers everyday, they are making such a big issue over something that is not theirs. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments regarding Mellila y Cueta, its doublé standards. One question i have is where does it say in the treaty about the waters or distance of the waters belonging to Gibralter, just wondered that´s all. Thank you

  30. Here’s another thing to wonder about. Who PAYS for the protection that the U.K. offers to Gib? Does Gibraltar tip up money in the form of taxes to the U.K? Or will the poor old Brit taxpayer shoulder the burden of sticking up for somewhere that pays nowt? We all stoutly defend the right of self-determination of Gibraltar, but it would be nice to know they pay into the costs of the navy and the wages of the lads who are expected to wave a big stick at the recalcitrant Spanish.
    Just wondered….

  31. The United Kingdom has shouldered the burden (with others) of protecting the free world for hundreds of years. In my view, our armed forces are the best in the world, but I’m biased because I served in them.

    The people of the United Kingdom expect their armed forces to be able to protect them and it is the duty of the Government to provide the men and women of the armed services with the tools they need to do this.

    The United Kingdom pays the armed forces to preserve the peace, so that British citizens can enjoy the rights, freedoms and privileges to which they have become accustomed. Those same rights have been afforded to other nations.

    During the Second World War, the United Kingdom fought on alone when all the other nations in Europe had crumbled before the fascists. We fought on and prevailed, freeing Europe from tyranny – whilst Franco & Spain stood idly by, encouraging Hitler.

    It can even be said that without the re-organised Royal Navy, you would not have the modern industrialised society we have today, because it was the need to rebuild the Royal Navy in the seventeenth century which led to the creation of a centralised bank, which then created a ‘National Debt’.

    It was from this that the Great Britain was the first nation in Europe to embrace industrialisation, which then led to the development of the greatest empire the world had ever seen. All the inventions you see and use today, derive from that event.

    The people of Great Britain gladly pay for their armed forces and revere them, because without them, we would not be free.

  32. @Jane

    Spain’s case if that the Treaty of Utrecht did not mention waters. It didn’t mention airspace for that matter, but back in the 18th Century, people didn’t fly…. unless they were thrown off a cliff!

    Jesús Verdú, a law professor from the University of Cadiz wrote about Utrecht and pointed out that inclusion of the waters was implicit in any treaty over land. If you read Utrecht, you will see that it does not mention Gibraltar waters or Spanish waters:
    “http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Peace_and_Friendship_Treaty_of_Utrecht_between_Spain_and_Great_Britain”

    You might want to read these articles:

    “http://www.diariosur.es/v/20110502/campo-gibraltar//interrogantes-utrecht-20110502.html”

    “http://www.publico.es/462535/espana-nunca-ha-reclamado-internacionalmente-las-aguas-de-gibraltar-porque-sabe-que-perderia”

    The most relevant treaty though is United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

    “http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea”

    The relevant articles are:

    Article 3 – which establishes that all nations have the right to claim out to 12 miles as territorial waters.
    “http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea/Part_II”

    Article 309 – which says that no reservations or exceptions may be made to this Convention unless expressly permitted by other articles of this Convention.
    “http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea/Part_XVII”

    Article 310 – which says that Article 309 does not preclude a State, when signing, ratifying or acceding to this Convention, from making declarations or statements, however phrased or named, with a view, inter alia, to the harmonization of its laws and regulations with the provisions of this Convention, provided that such declarations or statements do not purport to exclude or to modify the legal effect of the provisions of this Convention in their application to that State.
    “http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea/Part_XVII”

    What 309 and 310 mean is that whilst Spain was entitled to make a Declaration (which they did) it cannot modify the Treaty in any waY, unless the Treaty allowed this – which it did not.

    When Spain made their declaration, they tried to exclude Gibraltar from the Treaty and suggest that the provisions of the Treaty did not apply. But as Article 309 states, there can be NO RESERVATIONS OR EXCEPTIONS.

    This meant that when the UNCLOS Treaty came into force for Spain in 1992, then the waters around Gibraltar, out to the median point of Gibraltar Bay and out to 12 miles to the East became British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW). Gibraltar has only claimed 3 miles, but is entitled to 12.

    Although Spain has the right of innocent passage in BGTW under UNCLOS, they frequently trespass in these waters. The Guardia Civil boats are not allowed under UNCLOS to patrol in BGTW and each time they have, Britain has lodged a formal protest with Spain.

    The area of the artificial reef is most definitely in BGTW and so Spain has no right to fish or patrol these waters. Spanish fishermen would not be allowed to fish in these waters anyway, because according to the Junta de Andalusia, the area of the artificial reef is not an approved fishing area. So any Spanish boat fishing there is breaking not only Gibraltar laws, but Spanish laws too. If you don’t believe me, check the maps.
    “http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/agriculturaypesca/moluzonasprodu/”

    Hope that explains it all.

    Basically, Spain does not have a claim and by manufacturing this dispute, they are about to be shown to be a fool before all other nations.

  33. @stefano

    British people – wherever they are in the world expect the armed forces of the United Kingdom to protect them – if it is possible. So when there was a conflict in Lebanon, or Libya, the Royal Navy was called upon to evacuate British citizens.

    Gibraltar does not pay for the Royal Navy, or the Army, but neither does the Falkland Islands or the British possessions in the West Indies. The Royal Navy also patrols this region, captures drug smugglers (recent major captures) and gives aid after hurricanes. These islands are not expected to pay for this service.

    What Gibraltar does pay for though, is the Gibraltar regiment which has sent units to serve in Afghanistan at no cost to the UK tax payer. The Falkland Islands also provides a Falkland Islands Defence Force, who help share the defence of the islands. The UK tax payer does not pay for the FIDF either.

    The truth is that the United Kingdom would have to pay for the armed forces whether they were active or not. You might say that if we did not have to defend so many places around the globe, that we could get by with a much smaller armed forces, but this would ignore the significant role that Great Britain has played (and continues to play) in the defence of Europe through NATO.

    Whether you like it or not, the United Kingdom is a nuclear state. We hold a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, because at the time it was formed, the United Kingdom was one of the Great Powers that won the Second World War. Great Britain may have diminished with the end of the British Empire, but British citizens still expect the UK to play a significant role (as we always have) in shaping and protecting the world of tomorrow.

    Britain joined the European Economic Community, not only to benefit from trade, but also to shape the organisation as it evolved. However, it is becoming more of a single European state than the trading community it started out to be and Britain never intended to give up any sovereignty.

    This is why we were extremely reluctant to join the single European currency – the disaster that the Euro has become – because the Euro was doomed to failure from the start. You could not enforce a single currency on so many disparate states without the original intention being to force these states to be subservient to one dominating state – the greater Fourth Reich under das Furher Geli!

    Anyway, the truth is that Britain has to maintain a strong armed forces, to counter any threat to the United Kingdom and it is their duty to protect British citizens – wherever in the world they may be.

  34. I hate bullies and the Spanish are being pathetic and showing their true colours regarding us Brits.

    For this reason I have changed my holiday plans for Spain at the end of this month for Alvor, Algarve and will not be taking my usual half term break in October either to Malaga and have rearranged it to go to Crete. I am currently switching my Santander account and I am carefully avoiding buying any Spanish produce when shopping.

    As big supermarket says “every little helps”

  35. Well done Paula.

    I’m also making sure that I do not buy any Spanish produce and if I go anywhere on holiday, it will be to Gibraltar.

    The people of Crete will welcome you, because they really depend on the tourists to help them recover from the curse of the Euro.

  36. I’m also boycotting Spanish goods, holidays and services. I’m also encouraging friends and colleagues to do the same. Spain are insanely jealous and envious of Gibraltar as it’s the only prosperous region on the mainland. Spain will only further damage it’s own economy and international reputation. History shows that they just cant seen to prevent themselves from hitting the self-destruct button.. Spain are relatively new to democracy and I believe that Latin temperament, which sometimes places more emphasis on emotion rather than reason or fact, is really their barrier to development. This makes then appear immature and infantile particularly in light of their response. This is only going to harm Spaniards at the end of the day

  37. Sort of interesting to see how the old imperium mentality of Britain is still very much at large. Most of us down here have chosen Southern Spain to live in because of the climate and Spanish people are really rather welcoming. Obviously the Spanish ruling classes are more arrogant very much like their English counterparts. So, let’s all get real and face up to the fact that the planet really is changing. Gibraltar will also have to change – not worth going to phony war about. Let the Spanish authorities tax the Internet gambling scams, let the tax dodgers from wherever be exposed and duly taxed.Everywhere tax havens are being schrutinized and will be closed down even though they are crucial to the operation of finance capital. And heaven forfend get rid of that deliberately provocative concrete reef.

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