7 Feb, 2019 @ 11:12
1 min read

ANOTHER Spanish warship enters Gibraltar waters playing national anthem in two-hour Royal Navy stand-off

INVASION: A Spanish warship crashed a Royal Navy exercise off Gibraltar
INVASION: A Spanish warship crashed a Royal Navy exercise off Gibraltar

ANOTHER Spanish warship has entered British territorial waters at Gibraltar, while playing its national anthem.

A 300ft patrol boat engaged in a two-hour stand off with a 50ft Royal Navy boat, during a training exercise off Gibraltar.

As the HMS Sabre began the drill at around 9am on Tuesday, the Spanish Tornado boat crashed the exercise and refused to move.

Local reports said Royal Navy personnel heard the Spanish national anthem being played over the radio at a base on Gibraltar.

INCURSION: The Spanish vessel was heard playing the national anthem over the radio

It comes after a Spanish warship illegally encroached into Gibraltar’s waters back in December, also blaring the national anthem of Spain.

After the December incident British Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley confirmed that the UK would make a formal complaint to Spain.

The Gibraltar Chronicle reported that the UK will also protest to Spain over this latest incident.

“We can confirm an incursion by the Spanish navy occurred this morning,” a UK Foreign Office spokesperson said.

STRONG: Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has been tough on attempts to question the Rock’s sovereignty

They added: “As with all incursions, the Royal Navy challenged the vessel.

“When challenged, the Spanish navy vessel subsequently left British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

“Incursions are a violation of sovereignty, not a threat to it, we have no doubt about our sovereignty over Gibraltar.”

Questions of Gibraltar’s sovereignty have arisen during the negotiations for the UK to leave the European Union.

However, the Rock’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo was firm in his new year’s message, as he said the concept of joint sovereignty of the territory with Spain was ‘as dead as a dodo’.

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