Monday, August 12, 2013

Spanish Government need to step back in Gibraltar row and consider their position, UK considering 'unprecedented' legal action by going to the EU, the UK has a case on free movement, commonsense, and peace and quiet needed

Dear All

It appears that our Spanish cousins are upset at present; this has resulted in a rather petty squabble over Gibraltar.

The UK government is now considering legal action against Spain over the imposition of additional border checks which are OTT.

Although security is a concern which everyone should work together, the situation in Spain is nothing to do with security; it is a petty argument which affects both the Spanish and the people of Gibraltar.

The way to deal with this is by way of the Law, in the EU there is free movement of people and trade, and as I tweeted awhile ago, the best way is to use the EU.

As David Cameron says this border dispute is very disappointing, having dug a hole, the Spanish say that its checks are essential to stop smuggling.

So, why weren’t they essential before? Why is everyone who regularly comes and goes waiting several hours to cross? 

Spain has further stated said it had an "obligation" to police the border, and insisted its controls were legal and proportionate.

This is true; however the latest flare up is not proportionate, when you consider that Spain was considering taking the dispute to the UN Security Council.

And to attempt to rope in the Argentinians, honestly, talk about clutching at straws.

The row all started after Gibraltar created an artificial reef, if the people of Gibraltar done this in Spanish waters then that would be wrong, if it is in their own waters, that’s their business. However, if this creates a problem, it should be raised with the proper authorities, what is so difficult about that?

I think the Spanish claim that the reef will destroy fishing in the area is bogus.

But the real kicker beside the unacceptable waiting times is that Madrid has suggested a 50 euro (£43) fee could be applied to every vehicle entering or leaving the British territory.

On that bunny, there is definitely cause to complain to the EU, because it is wrong and it unjustly punishes ordinary people, including the Spanish people who work in Gibraltar.

A Downing Street spokesman has called Spain's actions "disproportionate and politically motivated".

He said:
"If we go down this route, we would press upon the EU the need to pursue this with a matter of urgency."

In the main, our Spanish cousins seems a reasonable sort, do we really need this little drama over a few rocks dumped in the sea?

Do we want a formal complaint to the European Commission in Brussels?

I opined a wee whole ago that Spain is in breach of European Union law by preventing free movement.

What next, bouncing in the door of the European Court of Justice?

A spokesman said:

"Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, is part of the EU. In essence, border checks are permitted, because neither Britain nor Gibraltar are part of the Schengen group of countries which have ended border checks, but still any checks regarded as excessive could be illegal."

To show how bad the situation actually is, drivers in Gibraltar have reported waiting up to seven hours at the border.

Imagine if you are Spanish trying to get to work, and facing this crap, you would be straight on to your political representatives screaming blue murder.

And of course there is the public health issue to take into account here, young children and the elderly are having problems because of the heat.

Hopefully someone will come up with a face saving idea and everyone can get to normal, this is just an embarrassment.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

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