Tensions as Spanish warship enters disputed Gibraltar waters
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 05, 2017,
Apr 05, 2017, 8:58
It comes after former Conservative leader Lord Howard suggested on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday thatTheresa May could be willing to defend the British territory - like Margaret Thatcher had over the Falklands.
Britain is annoyed with Spain and the European Union because the European Union has said Spain should have veto rights on any agreements regarding Gibraltar during the negotiations on Britain's exit from the EU.
She said she remained "steadfastly committed" to "the Rock", amid concerns it could become a "bargaining chip".
(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, second left, speaks with, from left, Malta's Foreign Minister George Vella, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders and Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak during a meeting of.
In 2002, the former British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, asked Gibraltarians if they wanted Britain to share sovereignty with Spain.
The British territory of Gibraltar said a Spanish navy patrol ship entered its waters Tuesday amid the simmering tensions between Spain and Britain over Gibraltar's future after Brexit.
"The Royal Navy challenges all unlawful maritime incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters - and did so again on this occasion", the Foreign Office said in a statement.
The latest spat arose from the EU's Brexit negotiating guidelines which leave Britain and Spain to thrash out what agreements will apply to Gibraltar.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reassured Gibraltarians that the territory's sovereignty "is not going to change and can not conceivably change without the express support and consent of the people of Gibraltar and the United Kingdom".
"The position of the Government is very very clear which is that the sovereignty of Gibraltar is unchanged, and is not going to change, and can not conceivably change without the express support and consent of the people of Gibraltar and the United Kingdom".
Less than a week after asking for a divorce from the European Union, Britain is talking war.
Fearing that Spain is trying to take advantage of Brexit to impose its control over the 32,000-strong rocky outcrop on the country's southern tip, Gibraltar reacted angrily, and London pledged its support for a territory ceded to Britain in 1713 but long claimed by Madrid.
Thousands of people cross the Spain-Gibraltar frontier in each direction for work, and the Spanish government has said that it will ensure the border remains open.