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UK MP Raises Gibraltar Motion in Westminster

Source: Mercopress - Sat 9th Nov 2013
UK MP Raises Gibraltar Motion in Westminster

British Labor MP Jim Dobbin has filed an early day motion calling on the House of Commons to condemn the actions of the Spanish Guardia Civil crew that led to "an armed stand-off" with Royal Navy vessels in Gibraltar waters last week.

The motion filed by Mr Dobbin - who is the chairman of the Gibraltar all party parliamentary group - also noted that "aggressive activity" at the border had led to delays of up to 4 hours for "hard-working people" from Gibraltar and Spain.

He went on to describe how a Guardia Civil patrol boat maneuvered in "a dangerous and provocative" manner, causing a collision with a British vessel escorting a Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker.

It also recognized "the restraint and professionalism of the Royal Navy, Royal Gibraltar Police and Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the face of Spanish aggression." Although the motion refers to the RGP, it was in fact the Gibraltar Defence Police that was present during the incident.

It finally asked the Commons to express "…concern that Spain, a democratic member of the EU, is acting in this manner."

In the Westminster system, early day motions are rarely debated in the Commons and are primarily used to draw attention to particular subjects of interest.

The motion filed by Mr Dobbins was backed by 4 additional MPs, 3 from the Labor party and 1 from the Conservatives.

Mr Dobbin had earlier this week asked 2 questions relating to the incident last week.

Additionally, British Europe Minister David Lidington laid a written ministerial statement in the Commons in which he condemned the Guardia Civil actions and confirmed that Britain had made a formal protest to Spain.

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