19 Mar, 2024 @ 14:59
1 min read

British Royal Navy commandos are kicked out of Spain: Four officers were tracked to their hotel before being expelled to Gibraltar

FOUR British Royal Navy officers have been deported from Spain after they were tracked down by Spanish authorities and returned to the Rock.

Gibraltar has long been of military importance for Britain and Spain. Photo: Cordon Press

READ MORE: Hands off our Rock: British MPs blast Spain’s demands to share Gibraltar’s airport in post-Brexit talks

The incident occurred yesterday night, on Monday, March 18. 

The group, including a capitan and a corporal, were removed by Spanish authorities for not meeting entry requirements to the country set out by the Schengen borders code. 

They had been staying in a well known four star hotel on La Linea, where they were put up by the Royal Navy. 

The hotel was just 100 metres from the border separating Spain and Gibraltar. 

According to Europa Sur, they had arrived a few hours before at the Rock’s airport on a civilian flight. 

Reportedly, they came to Gibraltar to participate in Royal Navy drills due to take place this week in the Gibraltar strait. 

After landing, the group made their way to their hotel on the Spanish side of the border. 

READ MORE: Gibraltar finally receives blessing to be removed from FATF ‘grey list’ by economic crime watchdog

It wasn’t long before Spanish authorities caught up with their ‘irregular’ arrival and located the group, sending them back to Gibraltar. 

British citizens wishing to enter Spain must identify themselves with their passports and although they do not have to apply for a visa, they must comply with Schengen rules. 

These include: stating the reason for your visit, the conditions of your visit (including where you will stay) and demonstrating you have enough money for your stay (and return to your home country). 

You cannot stay longer than 90 days out of 180, regardless of the amount of visits. 

These conditions do not apply to Gibraltarians, who were granted an unwritten privilege by Spain. 

The groups’ return to Gibraltar comes as politicians debate relations between the EU and Gibraltar after Brexit. 

The talks have been going on for years without reaching a conclusion but upcoming EU elections have brought fresh hope. 

The President of the Foreign Commission and Mayor of Algeciras, José Ignacio Landaluce, is also set to question the Spanish government over the incident. 

He says many questions ‘still need to be answered’ including why the group was able to enter Spain in the first place if they did not meet Schengen requirements. 

Landaluce also said: “Why is that everytime Spain and Britain are negotiating Brexit…some sort of incident happens with the Royal Navy?”

READ MORE: Spain to Morocco train latest: Businesses line up to invest in the so-called ‘Gibraltar Tunnel’ as project edges closer

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

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