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UK logs 382 incursions in 2023

The Spanish Navy offshore patrol vessel Centinela is shadowed by the Gibraltar Squadron’s HMS Daggers as it sailed through British waters off Gibraltar in August 2023. The Spanish vessel’s presence was logged as an incursion and will be protested by the UK. Photo by Johnny Bugeja

Some 382 incursions by Spanish Government law enforcement vessels into British Gibraltar Territorial waters have been recorded so far this year.

James Heappey, the UK’s Minister for the Armed Forces, gave this information in response to a question put to him by Conservative MP, Mark Logan.

“Between  January 1 and October 16, 2023, there were 382 incursions by Spanish Government Agency vessels into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW), breaching the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Article 19,” Mr Heappey said.  “There were no incursions into BGTW by non-Spanish Government Agency vessels in this period.”

He added that entry by civilian or commercial vessels are not subject to UNCLOS within Gibraltar waters, and are therefore not defined as incursions.


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