LAND frontier police tightened controls to enter Spain from Gibraltar recently, as Anne, Princess Royal, visited Gibraltar for the Rock’s literature festival, the HuffPost reported.

As is customary during Royal visits, Spanish border police turned up controls to check the documents of frontier users entering the Schengen zone.

Princess Anne was in Gibraltar to open the International Literary Festival that attracted top authors from across the UK.

Last week, Gibraltar’s Border and Coastguard Agency (BCA) reported that 35 British nationals who had the blue and magenta ID cards given to more recently arrived residents in Gibraltar were disallowed entry to Spain.

The BCA said that border police also turned back a British Gibraltarian who did not have a red ID card when they asked him for it.

Border police asked people what was their reason to visit Spain and for flights or hotel bookings.

“The BCA are not aware of any British national who presented their passport and a Gibraltar red ID card, to have been asked to provide reasons for travel,” the Gibraltar Government said.

It added that it believed that ‘the existing status quo has not changed’ at the frontier after Spain gave Gibraltar residents fluid travel until EU talks end.

“Gibraltar red ID card holders will not be required to stamp their passports when crossing the border to travel within Spain,” it affirmed.

Many of the turn-backs took place on November 14 and authorities are monitoring how the frontier situation develops.

Spain often reacts angrily to royals visiting Gibraltar and that weekend also saw former UK Prime Minister Theresa May speak to Chief Minister Fabian Picardo about Brexit as part of the international literature festival.

Authorities have reported similar incidents throughout the year when Spanish border police suddenly got more stringent and made life difficult for local people.

It followed a strong exchange of words in late August this year when Spain started to process EU and non-EU travellers to Spain in separate queues.

In response, Gibraltar created a Brits-only queue at its frontier entry point.

At the time, the government said it ‘deeply regretted’ having to take a ‘reciprocal’ action on its side of the border.

The situation was aggravated by tension in Gibraltar waters which saw a Spaniard arrested and charged for fishing illegally.

A new EU Treaty that is due to be worked out by the UK and Spain in relation to Gibraltar could even remove the frontier altogether.


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