Gibraltar claims Spanish ship illegally entered its waters

UK territory at centre of dispute after claims prime minister would go to war to defend it

Flags of the UK, Gibraltar and the European Union are flown while the Gibraltar Rock is seen on the back at the Spain-Gibraltar border. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Flags of the UK, Gibraltar and the European Union are flown while the Gibraltar Rock is seen on the back at the Spain-Gibraltar border. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

 

A Spanish navy patrol ship entered Gibraltar’s territorial waters without permission on Tuesday, the government of the British outpost on the southern tip of Spain said.

The future of Gibraltar has become the first big dispute of Brexit since prime minister Theresa May began the process last week, with the EU draft position on negotiations saying the application of any EU-UK trade deal to Gibraltar had be agreed between Spain and the UK.

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“Illegal incursion into British Gibraltar territorial waters by Spanish navy patrol ship Infanta Cristina this afternoon,” the government of Gibraltar said on Twitter, alongside a video of the ship.

On Monday, Ms May’s spokesman played down comments by a former leader of her Conservative party, Michael Howard, that she would be prepared to go to war to defend the territory.

Reuters