- 3 updates
People in Gibraltar feel "under siege" due to the territory being the subject of diplomatic wrangling between the UK and Spanish governments, the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee has said.
"The combination of direct pressure on its border and sovereign waters as well as
diplomatic pressure at the EU, UN and NATO, have resulted in a feeling in Gibraltar of
being under siege," the cross-party committee's latest report says.
The committee accuses Spain of "aggressive policies" towards Gibraltar and says the Government "has responsibilities toward Gibraltar and cannot ignore actions by Spain that are intended to make the lives of Gibraltarians difficult".
The Government has rejected the suggestion from a committee of MPs that it needs to "get off the fence" and act more vigorously to protect British interests in Gibraltar.
A Government spokesman said: "This Government has never been on the fence when it comes to Gibraltar."
"We've been absolutely clear that we will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes. And we protest each and every illegal incursion by Spanish state vessels into Gibraltar territorial waters."
A cross-party committee of MPs has called on the Government to threaten Spain with legal action over its treatment of Gibraltar.
The Foreign Affairs Committee also called for a "more robust" response to incursions into British territorial waters and urged ministers to "get off the fence".
The committee said ministers should now set out "naval and police options" to stop Spanish vessels entering British waters, as well as threatening to take Spain to the European Court for breaching EU treaty obligations.