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Commons debate highlights Rock’s military role

Gibraltar PHOTEX HMS DARING sailed from Gibraltar this afternoon after a brief but busy visit. These images were taken from a rigid inflatable boat from the Gibraltar Royal Naval Squadron. The photographer got extremely wet obtaining these shots, suffering for his art! HMS DARING is pictured here being escorted out to sea by HMS SCIMITAR from the Gibraltar Royal Navy Squadron. HMS DARING, a type 45 destroyer deployed last week on a 9 month deployment to the Middle East.

Britain will consider using Gibraltar as a home port for one of its new offshore patrol vessels, the House of Commons has been told.

Michael Fallon, Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence, revealed the move in response to a question from Tory MP Bob Stewart.

Mr Stewart had highlighted Gibraltar’s “superb” military facilities and strategic location and asked if one of the UK’s new vessels might be based here.

“That is a suggestion I will certainly consider,” Mr Fallon replied. 

“Gibraltar is a key base for the Royal Navy.”

“I think last week we had two, possibly three, ships from the Royal Navy calling in on Gibraltar, and Gibraltar of course retains its affiliation to the Crown despite the recent referendum.”

This was one of a series of questions tabled in the Commons on military issues relating to Gibraltar, including one from Tory MP Andrew Rosindell who asked for an assessment of Gibraltar strategic military importance to the UK.

Mike Penning, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, said the UK continually monitored its defence presence in Gibraltar and routinely adjusted its force posture and resources as appropriate.

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