Spain give in to Gib EC checks
SPAIN has agreed to let European Commission observers to its border with Gibraltar to assess the legality of checks on traffic that have caused a diplomatic row with Britain.
The Commission said Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy had agreed to allow a team in “as soon as possible” in a telephone call with President Jose Manuel Barroso to discuss the dispute.
Three Royal Navy ships, led by frigate HMS Westminster, arrived at the British Overseas Territory for a routine stopover yesterday as Downing Street declined to rule out retaliatory political action against Spain if the disagreement was not resolved quickly.
A controversial artificial reef off Gibraltar sparked the disagreement and led to border checks, which have meant hours of delays for people crossing into Gibraltar.
Fabian Picardo, the Gibraltarian chief minister, said: “The officiousness of what is going on now is clearly directed politically, and it’s quite unfair as it’s being visited on innocent people who need to cross.”