Spanish warship threatens ships at gunpoint in British territorial waters - Royal Navy responds

A Spanish warship with its guns manned ordered commercial ships to leave British Gibraltar waters on Sunday, the territory's government has said.

The warship's guns were uncovered and manned, and the crew can be heard in an audio recording of a radio exchange telling vessels anchored at the Rock to "leave Spanish territorial waters".

"There is only nuisance value to these foolish games being played by those who don't accept unimpeachable British sovereignty over the waters around Gibraltar as recognised by the whole world in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," said a government spokesman.

"It seems there are still some in the Spanish navy who think they can flout international law.

"This probably accounts for the state of extremism of some parts of the Spanish political spectrum these days."

Royal Navy boats were deployed in response to the incident.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

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