UK 'assured' over Spain search

Spain has given an assurance there will be no repeat of the incident in which officials on the border with Gibraltar searched a British diplomatic bag, the Foreign Office has said.

Spain: Packages opened were not diplomatic bags

The packages that were opened on Gibraltar's border with Spain were not diplomatic bags, Spain's Foreign Minister said.

A view looking West over Gibraltar with Cadiz Province with Spain in the background. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive

Jose Garcia-Margallo reportedly told the BBC: "There is no incident. If it is not a diplomatic bag, there is no diplomatic incident. A bag was opened, which was not a diplomatic bag."

A Foreign Office spokesman said the bags were "clearly marked as the property of HM Government" and, as such, were covered by the Vienna Convention.

Read: UK 'assured' Spain will not repeat diplomatic bag search

MPs call for British warships to be sent to Gibraltar

British warships should be sent to Gibraltar to show the UK's determination to defend the region, Conservative MPs urged today.

Already tense relations between Spain and the UK were heightened earlier this week after a diplomatic bag was opened by a Spanish border guard on the border.

Already tense relations between Spain and the UK were heightened earlier this week Credit: PA Wire

Peter Bone said Royal Navy ships should make a "goodwill visit" to the territory to build trust with the Gibraltarians, before adding he would prefer to send a couple of gunboats instead.

Fellow Tory and former minister Bob Neill went on to ask the Government to consider reinforcing the UK's naval deployments available in Gibraltar.

Former army colonel and now Tory MP Bob Stewart suggested last week that Britain should send major combat units to train in Gibraltar to show its determination to defend the region.

Read: UK 'assured' Spain will not repeat diplomatic bag search

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UK 'assured' Spain will not repeat diplomatic bag search

Spain has given an assurance there will be no repeat of the incident in which officials on the border with Gibraltar searched a British diplomatic bag, the Foreign Office has said.

The incident, which took place on Friday, was described by a Foreign Office spokesman as a "serious infringement" of international diplomatic protocols.

In our protests we requested an urgent explanation of this incident from the Spanish Government and sought assurances that there will be no further interference with the UK’s official correspondence.

We have now received that explanation from the Spanish and have been assured that we will not see a repeat of these actions.

– David Lidington, Minister for Europe