The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation transmitted to the United Kingdom a “protest note verbal ” on the occasion of the military exercise ‘Gibraltar Strike’, carried out at the end of September that included maneuvers in waters near the Rock that both Spain and the United Kingdom consider their own.
This has been indicated by the Government in response to a parliamentary question registered by the Vox political party. The Executive itself clarifies that protesting by means of a “verbal note” is what it “usually does when faced with this type of event.”
Diplomatic incidents due to movements of military or civil ships in these waters are frequent, since the United Kingdom and the Rock consider “British territorial waters of Gibraltar” a strip of three nautical miles.
However, Spain alleges that in the Treaty of Utrecht no waters were transferred to the United Kingdom, so it considers that this sea is under Spanish sovereignty and does not recognize Gibraltar more waters than those of the port and this was recalled by Vox in its question.
The exercise ‘Gibraltar Strike’ included the British flagship HMS Albion, the destroyer HMS Dragon and the support ship RFA Lyme Bay. The parliamentary group also stressed that the Commander of the Group, Commodore Rob Pedre, declared that “sailing in Gibraltar” was “a fundamental point” at the beginning of the deployment and therefore valued “highly” the support that the Rock provided to the British Navy of face to its deployments in the Mediterranean.