Heavily armed Spanish coastal water patrols recently attempted to 'unlawfully' board and inspect Fishing vessels inside the British protected waters surrounding Gibraltar. The British Navy despatched warships to force the Spaniards to retreat.
The Spaniards can read British newspapers just as we can. They know this parliament is finished, corrupt and discredited with MPs running for the hills as fast as they can.
Gordon Brown has no authority and is virtually washed up will be the view of the Spanish government seeing this as the ideal time to test UK resolve over Gibraltar. Cameron says Brown dithers. The Spanish see this as well. What better time to test our defences? Gibraltar is within our defence network. Brown will do little or nothing. Spaniards will be tempted to close the border and effectively takeover.
The Rock's inhabitants fear Spain could damage their economy by taking control of land, sea and air trade routes. The confrontation happened on May 8th 2009 and is the latest in a series since Britain gained Gibraltar in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. The Spanish Government has refused to recognise that territorial waters were a part of the agreement and over the years have made repeated attempts to reclaim 'the Rock' .
For centuries Gibraltar has been a key strategic base for the Royal Navy. The latest incident followed a day after Gibraltar's government voted to block EU moves to give responsibility for the environment around the Rock to Spain.
A spokesman for Gibraltar's opposition party said: 'The latest incident is far more serious than anything that has happened before. It represents a frontal challenge to British sovereignty, jurisdiction and control over Gibraltar's territorial sea.'As such the UK must not only respond to Spain, but must also extract guarantees from Madrid that it will never happen again.'