27 Nov, 2013 @ 11:07
1 min read

Gibraltar border bag backlash

gibraltar pic
View of the Rock from Spain

A FRESH row between Britain and Spain threatened to erupt after a serious breach of diplomatic protocol.

It happened when Guardia Civil officers opened and searched an official British Government diplomatic bag as it was being transported by courier across the border from Gibraltar into Spain.

Sealed diplomatic bags are covered by international legal protections and are used to carry official correspondence or other items between a government and its diplomatic, consular or official entities.

Protocol concerning the diplomatic bag is governed by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, it being forbidden for any third party to open them.

The British Government said Spain’s decision to search a UK diplomatic bag was ‘a serious infringement’ of international diplomatic protocol.

In a statement, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it had called on the Spanish Government to look into the incident and ensure it was not repeated.

The incident comes at a time of heightened tension between the UK and Spain over delays at the frontier and Spanish incursions into Gibraltarian waters.

Claire Wilson

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  1. Is there any purpose for the EC (and EU) ? Is seems money only every flows into it, large sums are spent on white elephants, and legally they do sod all!!
    Spain keeps breaking the rules (this, homes demolished, etc) and nothing ever happens…

  2. Apparently the Spanish government, rather than apologising for a blunder by a GC on the border, is trying to argue that the bag was not covered by the Vienna Convention. Seriously stupid move: the FCO seems totally supine regarding maritime incursions, but they will see this as a direct attack on their diplomatic privileges, something that they take much more seriously: for diplomats, this is getting personal!

  3. This is just the latest in a series of provocations the government will turn its ire on expat Brits next so I’m done with Spain. I’m going to put my house on the market and once the taxes paid never, ever spend another centimo there. I’m also going to boycott all Spanish products. The people of Spain voted for these self-serving, bullying parasite politicians. I don’t get to vote in national elections so they have no interest in my views, I can’t vote to get rid of them and I refuse to support them. The electorate get the politicians they deserve.

  4. Hardly surprising that Spanish police break the law at will – as all police forces in semi-dictatorships do – when they know they can do what they want as they wil literally get away with murder.

    I can understand your frustration Boulder, but as Jane says – most Spanish didn’t vote for them, just as most Brits didn’t vote for Thatcher. In fact, I think there are many parallels between 2013 Spain and mid-80s Britain. One of them being an out of control police force, above the law, corrupt, and acting in a dictatorial, military style. There are many other similarities.

    However, most Spanish people I speak to think the same as us – except understandably on the Gibraltar issue. If there was a better option as far a political parties go, they would love to vote for them, but, as in the UK, there isn’t. The other lot are just as bad, only in a different way.

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