Leading MEP calls on EU to intervene and ‘bring sanity’ to the sovereignty dispute over Gibraltar - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Leading MEP calls on EU to intervene and ‘bring sanity’ to the sovereignty dispute over Gibraltar

Monday, 19 November 2012
Gibraltar’s Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson has this evening used a one-minute speech in the European Parliament to express his continued concern at the ongoing dispute over the sovereignty of the Rock and called on the European Union to intervene to bring ‘sanity’ to the situation.

He said: “I rise to speak about the situation in Gibraltar, where the Spanish Government is causing huge delays for people going in and out of the territory, and to congratulate the mayor of La Linea and her council who have themselves protested against this needless disruption to the lives of Gibraltarians and others wishing to enter or leave the territory.

I know that the Partido Popular has many domestic problems and no doubt wishes to turn attention away by reviving this great ghost of Gibraltar, but it has no right to do so and I call on the European Union to intervene to bring sanity.

Click play to watch his intervention in full:

Last week and ever keen to wave the Union Jack, UKIP MEP The Earl of Dartmouth congratulated the British Minister for Europe David Lidington after it emerged he had summoned the Spanish Ambassador for a dressing down after repeated Spanish incursions into Gibraltarian waters. Figures released recently following Freedom of Information requests revealed the number of unlawful incursions into British Gibraltar waters between November 2011 and the end of October this year was far higher than in previous years and Spanish state vessels illegally entered the disputed waters 178 times in the last year.

I am delighted that Mr Lidington has made a start, but he mustn’t let it lie there. He must keep up real pressure on Spain,said the Earl. “For too long the British government have shied away from protecting the integrity of Gibraltar, and it is due to this repeated inaction that the Spanish feel that they can get away with it. It started with fishing boats, and has escalated to Spanish naval craft, they are obviously just pushing to see where our backbone is.

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