Gibraltar - Spain grabs back sea rights

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by SOLO, Jun 3, 2009.

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  1. Don’t think this has been pinged up on ARRSE and was only run in the Mail and Express, but I feel it’s considerably more important than some small ginger chick and her expenses..!!

    This is what happens when our illustrious leader has one eye on his own back and his other... well he doesn’t have that physical ability....

    Gibraltar con trick: Spain grabs back sea rights under guise of 'environmental protection'
    By Sam Greenhill
    Last updated at 10:17 AM on 01st June 2009

    A diplomatic battle was looming last night after Spain tricked the EU into handing it new rights to the waters around Gibraltar.
    The sleight-of-hand has provoked fury in the British outpost and left red faces in Whitehall.
    And it has already produced a potential confrontation between British and Spanish ships in the region.
    (Repel the invaders: HMS Sabre forced a Spanish warship out of Gibraltar's waters)
    Spain, which has been challenging British sovereignty on the Rock for 300 years, has now laid claim under an EU 'environmental protection' scheme to most of the 20 square miles of British territorial waters that surround the Gibraltar peninsula .
    The Rock has been a key strategic outpost since it was ceded by Spain to Britain in perpetuity under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht.
    The sea surrounding the Rock is designated British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. But the Spanish have convinced the European Commission to include most of it in a new environmental zone, to be maintained by Spain.

    All but one small segment of the British zone - two square miles in the north-western corner - has been swallowed up by the Estrecho Oriental, a 69-square-mile marine conservation area.
    Under EU law, a conservation site can only be declared by the sovereign state which owns the piece of land or sea in question.
    So by allowing Spain's request to include the waters around Gibraltar, European bureaucrats have tacitly recognised its possession of British territory.
    Responsibilities in maintaining EU environmental zones include nature protection and the monitoring of wildlife and potential environmental threats.
    But there are fears that it will merely act as a cover for Spanish vessels to mount incursions into British waters.
    There has already been one minor skirmish, when Spain sent the corvette Tarifa 'to inspect fishing boats' east of Gibraltar, insisting it was in Spanish waters.
    The armed fisheries protection vessel only retreated when the Navy sent the patrol vessel HMS Sabre to intercept it.
    The Gibraltar government has lodged an application in the European Court in Luxembourg to have the new rights reversed.
    Chief Minister Peter Caruana said: 'Spain has usurped British sovereignty of Gibraltar waters. This is clearly wrong and unacceptable. Its actions are not an innocent mistake. There is zero basis in international law for its position.'
    The Foreign Office has also expressed alarm. A spokesman said: 'We do not recognise the validity of their designation.'
    Britain's Europe Minister Caroline Flint added: 'We share the deep concern this designation has caused in Gibraltar and we continue to assert our sovereignty over BGTW.'
    Self-governing Gibraltar covers only 2.6 square miles of land, with a population of just 28,000.
    The vast majority of Gibraltans oppose any return to Spanish sovereignty. In the 1950s the Spanish dictator Franco ratcheted up claims over the Rock, partly in response to a visit of the Queen in 1954 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of its capture.
    For the next 30 years Spain restricted movement between Gibraltar and Spain. A referendum in 1967 found 12,138 wanted it to remain a British territory with just 44 voting to return to Spanish sovereignty.
    In 2002 proposals for joint sovereignty were drawn up, but another referendum rejected the plan by 98.97 per cent.
    Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Gibraltar Group, said: 'This decision must be reversed.
    'The Spanish have been trying for 300 years to get a piece of Gibraltar, and unless we do something they will have finally succeeded in chipping away at our sovereignty of the Rock.'

    Attached Files:

  2. Plays right into the hands of the anti european brigade though doesn't it?
    It won't be allowed to go undealt with, no politician can be seen to drop the ball on matters like this at the moment.
  3. It seems the Spanish have been watching our country's political turmoil and have taken the opportunity that has opened up before them.

    Next up...the Argies?
  4. We need to leave the EU IMMEDIATELY, and torpedo anything that threatens our sovereignty.
    Outrage bus has very comfy seats, are they new?...

    I'm so ashamed our Country's governance is so lame and impotent. Really bloody ashamed. Why are 3 always 3 steps behind everyone else? I know people who work in the civil service and Government, and they're quite clever. But put them all together and both institutions are incomprehensibly inept.
  5. Park a sub in the med, launch a few cruise missiles at them. That'll make manuel stop being silly.

    If we have any subs that is.
  6. Have you seen the Gibraltar Patrol Vessels? They aren't exactly huge, and if the Spanish ran after running into one of them I'd like to think we could take them...

    But then, I'd also like to think we'd have the balls to get the RGR out there reinforcing the point- Gib is ours.
  7. "no politician can be seen to drop the ball on matters like this at the moment"

    Well to expand that comment, we hear that Gordon is the best man to lead us through the credit crunch, but what has he been doing in the past 2 weeks to improve our passage? Answer Nothing. He got us into the problem, but he is not the solution.

    Changing the chancellor at this stage to place his own friend Balls in to No11 is hardly going to maintain continuity in sorting out the recession. Not that Darling was competent, Balls will cause open warfare on the Government benches.

    Gordon didnt just drop the ball, he has turned up to play on the wrong field, where no players are to be seen, Gordon Brown has given up running the country, and is fighting for his own position in No10. Lets not pretend he is doing anything else.
  8. And we want Fckin' Calais back as well while were on the subject...


    Quis Separabit

    Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum
  9. Strange - No mention of this on the Gibraltar Chronicle's website: normally they'd be incandescent with rage by now about this sort of thing.

    Having spent two formative years of my life as a young subbie on the Rock, one retains a vague sentimentality for the place (but sadly not for the people)
  10. with what milsum?... :D
  11. And the Morocoons want Ceuta and the other one that I can never remember the name of, back too.

    Where do you stop on the 'I want it back' front? Why aren't the Romans claiming back Britain? - I'd rather live in a country run by Berlesconi than the one-eyed jock bladder of lard that we've not voted for.

  12. Unfortunately I know exactly where you are coming from Queensman...
  13. Didn't we have Cherbourg as well at one point?...

  14. I think we should get revenge by taking the Baleric Islands off them i'll be happy to volunteer to do a recce in Magaluf £200 per day expenses should cover it
  15. I get your point.
    However, Browns days are numbered, in a short while his replacement can deal with upperty Spaniards.
    In the meantime I trust the Royal Navy will do as it has for centuries and discourage Johnny Foreigner from getting too clever.