Thursday, 22 September 2011

Foreign Office playing games with Gib’s sovereignty

The Foreign Office appears to be playing games with Gibraltar's sovereignty, following the latest invasion of British Gibraltar territorial waters by a Spanish Navy vessel on the eve of National Day.

At the time, HMS Sabre was alerted to the Spanish naval vessel, Vigia, being in the northern extremity of the Bay.

Vigia then entered Gibraltar waters and headed south with HMS Sabre taking station close to the Spanish ship, as was confirmed to us by the MOD.

The Spanish vessel then followed a direct course towards Europa Point where she stopped in the water and was challenged by Sabre. Vigia then continued around Europa Point until she left Gibraltar waters near La Linea. HMS Sabre remained on station and saw the Spanish naval vessel re-enter British waters, heading for Europa Point. Having rounded Europa Point, Vigia then made a direct passage to Algeciras.

That incident was serious enough for a spokesman at The Convent saying that Britain would be making a protest to the Spanish government.

Subsequently, we asked a Foreign Office spokesman at The Convent if the protest had now been made.

Initially, we were given to understand that the protest was imminent. So, we waited some time before reverting to the same Foreign Office spokesman in The Convent. We asked if the protest had now been made and also at what level.

The tone of the Foreign Office spokesman changed. He said he would get back to us in the afternoon.

On Tuesday afternoon, he said: "The British Government is protesting but do not issue a running commentary for reasons of diplomatic confidentiality."

What a nonsensical cover up! Since we were not asking for any running commentary, as all we had done was to ask if the protest had now been made, as it had previously been intimated to us, we think that the reply was offensive to us and no doubt to many people in Gibraltar who are concerned with what happens in the British sovereign territorial waters of Gibraltar.

And obviously answers are expected concerning factual information, answers to questions as simple and as relevant as if the protest had now taken place as the incursion happened nearly 2 weeks ago!

Oh dear, what can the matter be?


  1. GSD have never hiiden their pro spain agenda and criticied the gslp/lib pro gibraltar agenda, H M goverment have lied to us as GSD yet we voted them 3 terms in a row. Are we really allowed to complain? I think not. So who the cap fit let them wear it!

  2. You have to remember that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office isn't really British. The FCO have long seen their role as ensuring that there are friendly, commercially good, relations between Britain and foreign countries. Therefore, their activities are generally on the basis of "Don't upset the foreigner" or "Give them what they want". The whole thing is seen as a huge game that will still be there when they come back after the weekend.

    I would strongly recommend that the Government of Gibraltar invests in some large armed vessels. Larger than the Serviola class patrol boats represented by the Vigia and the Atalaya (3 May 2011). And with the will to use them.

    Perhaps Gibraltar could ask if they could buy a couple of Type 23 frigates. But you'll need a navy!

  3. How nice. I see that part of my comment has been quoted in an article. Does this mean that I am now anonymously internationally famous, or perhaps infamous?

    But I can assure Panorama, and Gibraltar readers, that I have personally seen the FCO set aside the law in favour of not "upsetting" foreigners.

    Do the people of Britain support the people of Gibraltar? Yes we do. Does the FCO support the people of Gibraltar? Who knows.

    The problem is that the FCO acts in what it conceives to be "British interests". Of course, nobody has ever really told them what "British interests" are. Witness the FCO negotiations with Argentina over the Falkland Islands between 1964 and 1981. None of which involved the Falkland Islanders.

    Something I want to make 100% clear to you. You may see your future as being "in Europe" or, more accurately, in the EU. Around 80% of the people of Britain do not see things the same way. What the people of Britain want is to be out of the EU. The only thing holding us back is our ignorant, self-serving politicians.

    You all need to be ready to make a major decision. Do you want to be "EUropean" and Spanish, or do you want to be British?

    Can't help you on this one. I believe in freedom, democracy and Britain. Why? Because in the EU freedom and democracy are just words. They don't mean anything. They don't exist. What does exist are the laws, directives, regulations, orders etc. imposed by just 27 people on 500 million others. If that's what you want, fine. It's your lives. Become Spanish or try to persuade the EU that Gibraltar should be a "country". The people of Britain have something else in mind.

    For as long as you are British, you will have our support. Because we believe people should be free to determine their own situation.

    Time to be ready to choose?

  4. I should have said that I have written to my MP, the Right Honourable Jeremy Hunt MP, PC. Or as he was referred to on BBC Radio, Jeremy C***.

    I have asked what action the British government has taken, given that this is the second invasion of British Gibraltar territorial waters by a Serviola-class warship in 6 months, to ensure that there are no further invasions.

    Given the interception by HMS Sabre, I have asked what conversations took place between Sabre and the Spanish (criminal) vessel.

    I have asked for a copy of the protest sent to the Spanish government.

    Finally, I have asked when the British government intends to send an adequate number of River-class patrol vessels to enforce British Gibraltar sovereignty with orders to take any necessary action.

    Might make a difference if we sank a few!

  5. Thanks Brian R. Gibraltar joined the EU with Britain, given that Britain is responsible for our foreign affairs, so presumably if the UK were to abandon the EU, so would we!

  6. Whether you live in Britian or Gibraltar, I must agree with the blogger that the British goverment just try to keep other countries happy and the rest (all of us) can go to the wall. This applies to all political parties in Westminster.

    Bexley Kent UK