LORD Hoyle raised the question of continued Spanish incursions into United Kingdom waters and airspace in the House of Lords on Monday November 9 which resulted in a short seven minute debate which covered a number of different matters pertaining to the future of Gibraltar.
Generally, the Lords all agreed that the incursions were unacceptable and that action needed to be taken, possibly by supply of larger Royal Navy vessels which the Government of Gibraltar had already offered to fund and the Earl of Courtown undertook to raise this matter with the relevant department in the Ministry of Defence.
The debate moved on to discuss the recent European Commission visit to Gibraltar which was supposed to be a secret and had been leaked in the Spanish press. The result was that on the day of the visit there were no delays at the border, but on the following day queues of between three and four hours occurred.
This in turn led to a question as to whether Gibraltar would be better or worse off in the event that the UK voted to leave the EU and the Government spokesman confirmed that it was the Governments view that subject to successful renegotiation of Britain’s obligations to the EU that it and Gibraltar would see a positive future as part of a reformed EU.
The one point of amusement during the debate was a question from Lord Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats who asked “My Lords, since we are discussing preventing people from straying on to territory where they should not be, can anything be done to stop senior serving military officers appearing on television?” The response was a simple “No”