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UK to protest to Spain after research vessel attempts survey in BGTW

A Royal Navy patrol boat is pictured next to the Spanish research vessel on Thursday morning. Photo courtesy of Michael Sanchez.

The UK Government will protest to Spain over an incursion on Thursday morning into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters by the Spanish research vessel RV Francisco P Navarro.

The Royal Navy’s Gibraltar Squadron despatched a patrol boat to the scene after the Spanish vessel was spotted about two miles off Europa Point.

“The vessel attempted to conduct what appeared to be survey operations,” said a spokesperson for The Convent, the office of the Governor in Gibraltar.

“A Royal Navy vessel responded and escorted it out of BGTW.”

The spokesperson said the UK Government would protest the incursion to the Spanish Government, as it does with all such incidents.

“We have no doubt about UK sovereignty over British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and airspace,” the spokesperson added.

“Incursions are a violation of sovereignty, not a threat to it.”

“The UK Government routinely protests all incursions in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and airspace by Spanish vessels or aircraft to the relevant authorities in Spain.”

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