5 Jan, 2015 @ 11:35
1 min read

Britain threatens Spain with European courts over Gibraltar

UK threaten leagal action e

BRITAIN could take Spain to the European Court of Justice over its ‘flagrant breaches of sovereignty’ in Gibraltar.

A six-month ultimatum by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee required Spain to clean up its act in regards to water incursions and border controls.

The ultimatum has now passed and members of the committee are piling pressure on UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to deal with the issue.

Committee chairman Richard Ottaway said: “We have been a soft touch for long enough.“We told the Government that if there was no improvement in six months, Article 259 of the Lisbon treaty should be invoked, and we should take Spain to the European Court of Justice.

“Well, six months have passed and little has changed: the delays are still going on, Spain is still illegally intruding in British territorial waters and airspace, and Madrid is unwilling to enter into even ad hoc talks with Britain.”

A Foreign Office spokesman added: “We are continuing to take robust action to defend Gibraltar’s interests, including by protesting at the highest levels against continuing incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and delays at the border, both with the European Commission and the Spanish Government.”


Rob Horgan

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  1. Interestingly enough, the UK offered Spain the chance to go to the ICJ with it over Gibraltar’s airspace, territorial waters, Isthmus and status of the Rock in the 1960s but Spain refused.

  2. The UK may threaten to take action but will do nothing of substance because deep down, the UK Government knows that Gibraltar will be handed back to Spain sooner or later.

  3. Ciudadanos. It would be illegal to hand a non-self-governing territory over to a third party without the consent of the inhabitants. Post 1995 in the light of the East Timor judgement, self-determination is now regarded as erga omnes, placing an obligation on ALL states and jus cogens, compelling law by the UN ILC and Human Rights Commission.

  4. Ciudadanos,
    It is now 2015 yet your obsession persists. It is obvious that you are comfortably well-off otherwise you would be writing about what afflicts your country and a sizeable percentage of your fellow countrymen. Surely, even you knows that national pride does not fill your belly.
    The plight of Spain deserves more of your attention than a territory of a mere 3 square miles.
    To dream the impossible dream, my dear friend, to dream the impossible dream. Such a waste of what is , after all, a very short life.

  5. El Fifi,

    I will agree with you that we are, in effect, in 2015.

    To dream the impossible dream is to pretend you are a sovereign state when you are not, and to brainwash your population into believing that the EU or any single European nation, other than the UK or Kosovo, will support your right to exist as a sovereign nation.

    If the UK leaves the EU, you will be out and Spain will proceed to do what is right and that is to close down the land border and set up a ferry service between Gibraltar and Algeciras. This will serve to stop the massive loss in tax revenue generated by Gibraltar.

    Gibraltar will never be under Spanish administration without your consent, but when the UK pulls the plug and the land border is closed down, you will be the ones calling to sit down and negotiate.

    We can wait my dear “llanito” friend, life will go on as usual in Spain regardless of what happens with Gibraltar.

  6. Ciudadanos

    You forget the likes of Guernsey and Jersey are not in the EU and do very nicely.

    A couple of hydrofoils from Gibraltar to Morocco will do a roaring trade.

  7. Well said Lenox, it’s about time the Foreign Office stepped in regarding the so called illegal property situation.

    Gibraltar will always be British, end of.

  8. Ciudadanos,

    You sound so peeved. I must have struck a nerve.
    Of course you can wait, my dear friend, after all you have been waiting for over 300 years.
    And of course life will go on in Spain in the same corruptible, poverty-ridden, undemocratic way it has done so for many years while other, true European countries have developed into mature democracies.
    I strongly believe you get paid to write the verbal garbage you constantly produce. I bet you are a member of the Spanish Interior Ministry trawling sites in order to provide official sentiments.
    If you are not, then you come across as a very angry, sad soul.

  9. Ciudadanos, I love the comment about tax losses because of Gibraltar?? How so my ill informed friend? Without doubt there are a minority taking advantage possibly criminally, but that goes without saying just about anywhere in the world. What you are missing are the thousands of people living in Spain, working in Gibraltar and taking 90% of the cash they earned in Gib and spending it in Spain. A few years ago a Spanish study calculated that Gibraltar injects over 400 million Euros a year into the surrounding area. Say bye bye to that if your idea comes into effect. Say hi to another 6000+ Spaniards unemployed. Say bye bye to Spanish businesses who currently rely on Gibraltar to keep themselves afloat. Say hi to hundreds of properties owned by Gibraltarians who will just leave them and their mortgages behind.

    Your government is swimming in a cesspool of criminal activities. Your government is removing peoples basic rights to demonstrate, adjusting voting laws to favour themselves, failing to address the huge issues your country is facing and yet they focus their attention on a patch of BRITAIN as the source of all their problems. Spain… modern?? democratic?? ha! All you need is to buy Rajoy a Generals fancy dress uniform and your back in the 60’s when things were good weren’t they? oh wait…..

  10. Well, according to the OP only THREE Labour MPs have been this afternoon in the Commons to take part in the Gib. debate. And the minister for Europe, David Liddington, have refused to accept what the Tories asked. Much ado about NOTHING.

  11. 1528 House of Commons Record Article 259

    Several MPs have backed the Foreign Affairs Committee’s call to take Spain to the European Court of Justice using Article 259 of the Lisbon Treaty.

    Under Article 259, any EU member state which considers that another member state has failed to fulfil its treaty obligations may take them to court where they may receive sanctions.

    In the situation at the border does not improve within the next 6-months then the committee recommends that the UK should make it clear that they intend to begin legal proceedings against Spain – pending the final result of the European Commission’s investigation into the situation at the border.

  12. Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about olisipo. He didn’t speak in the debate. He was not even there! The motion was accepted.


  13. Ciudadanos

    Pretty evident that Spain is going to either have to back down or lose in court. They chickened out of going to the ICJ over the Isthmus, sovereignty of Gibraltar, airspace and territorial waters back in the 1960s and now have nothing…

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