The Spanish warship can be heard in a recording of a radio exchange demanding ships at Gibraltar “leave Spanish territorial waters”.

A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar said:

“Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is verifying every aspect of the incident in order to ensure that appropriate action is taking as soon as possible.

Gibraltar VTS ensured that the vessels in question did not act in consequence of the illegal Spanish instructions.

There is only nuisance value to these foolish games being played by those who don’t accept unimpeachable British sovereignty over the waters around Gibraltar as recognised by the whole world under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

It seems there are still some in the Spanish Navy who think they can flout international law. This probably accounts for the state of extremism of some parts of the Spanish political spectrum these days.”

According to local media, the crew of the Spanish patrol boat Tornado can be heard in a recording of a radio exchange telling the vessels to “leave Spanish territorial waters”, even though they were anchored well inside British waters.



  1. It’s time the government got tough on these immature acts by the Spanish navy. If left unchecked, they will grow in confidence and regularity. Time to have some boats and aircraft with a bit more teeth to act as a deterrent? Imagine an Apache hovering over the rock with hellfire missiles locked on every time they act like a four year old.

    • Either that, or we go juvenile as well. Monty python style- a hundred military personnel line the harbour and moon at the Spanish ship, whilst cows and chickens are hurled at it?

      • Either of those two ideas sound good to me. I have watched Apavhes hovering over the Lea Valley reservoirs targeting traffic on the road while no doubt measuring targeting accuracy from sun reflections off the the wide expance of water and they certainly put a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach so I dread to think what they would do to the constitution of the average Spanish sailor.

    • its time the poor old sabre and scimitar were able to retire, they’ve done their bit since the 1970’s i was on sabre in 1977 on gun sbs/r.m insertion running taskings.

  2. We should keep a frigate or something stronger there board and capture a Spanish vessel and make them pay to get it back for the time and money it cost to deal with it.

  3. Surely now is the time to use Gibraltar as a proper military base. The Royal Navy is getting a number of new OPV’s, and retaining three of the current four we have. Base one of the new ships in Gibraltar along with a garrison of upto 200 marines/paras, a squadron of the older Apache helicopters as they become available and some armour. Then see if the cowards enter our waters again.

  4. Park QE and a full battle group at Gib for a few weeks. Have a few astute class patrolling around visible on the surface. Just demonstrate the overwhelming firepower we could bring to bear. See what the Spanish do then.

    • Why bother? It is what certain elements of the political class in Madrid want so why fan their flames? Best to treat it with the disdain it deserves.

      Great NATO ally aren’t they.

      • childish and pathetic, take away their beaches, and they’ve nothing in the world but a status in line with india and pakistan. a nothing nation going nowhere, ignore them the oxygen of publicity

    • They will do nothing. Then recommence when the RN leave.
      That also makes Britain look like the aggressor and escalates more.

      If any action is needed always as daft as them, simply to highlight the farce of the whole thing. I believe the Captain had already volunteered…. 🙂

          • RGR, Yes and no mate, on this site, the Joke now appears much further down the list than It did when posted earlier. Daniele’s reply was shortly after my “Game of Bowls” post. (This Post was in reply to the reaction of what to do about the Spanish Provocation ). It refers to the Spanish Armada and Sir Francis Drake playing Bowls on the Hoe. Having my Balls In both Hands Is a sort of Humorous Reply that might have been slightly funny at the time but probably not now !!!!

            Hope This helps explain all you want to know to remain a Balanced and stable Contributor on this Balanced and Stable Forum.

      • Fair enough. Whatever happened to the paint balling gun idea? Using permanent paint that is. Would be great to see a Spanish navy vessel covered in “peaceful luminous pink paint”

        • That alternative idea I suggested weeks ago was part serious, part fooling around as an alternative to escalating such as deploying military force.

          See my comment above.

          No one wants a confrontation with a European ally. If they want to play games diffuse it by making it into a huge joke, which to Spain it is most certainly not.

          Yes, it would be hillarious.

          Or, ignore and move on. Anything but serious escalation.

    • I think it is funnier that we chase them off with an inflatable… Using anything large will simply inflame the issue and also give more credit to their efforts. They are a bunch of idiots and we should treat them as such.

    • It’s 1,800 incursions like this a year, which is about 5 a day. We need teathered buoys with chains between them. Also a few decent patrol boats, say 100 tons a piece, fast and manouverable with toughened hulls and rubber bumps all round. Perhaps a 30mm and a couple of remote MiniGuns as well. We need to be much tougher on our stance.

      Remember Argentina behaved like this before 1982 and look where that ended up.

      • Yes as you say, the Argentinians pushed the matter to see the reaction; when there was none they invaded. As far as I’m aware the F&CO have yet to do anything apart from the above statement or did TM say to house of commons ‘walk away nothing to see?’

      • lay a minefield and charge people to be guided through it. while we own gibraltar, it could be a toll gate, charging billions for ships to pass it. nice little earner.

  5. The UK government MUST react properly and not turn blind eye and deaf ear. Full protest on this escapade and future ones, which there will be. We must learn from history, successive UK government ignored Argentine incursions on the Falkland Islands , and look what happened.

  6. We should start going to the two North African Spanish enclaves and start declaring them British! Send in destroyers, frigates and nuclear submarines…. or just fine the Spanish for all incursions into British Gibraltar waters and rack up the money and demand it from them, or how about embarrassing the Spanish on the world stage to stop the bullcrap.

    • base a t23 at gibraltar in d rename it h.m.s gibraltar the spanish would go into meltdown!! get british travel companies from dealing with spain, watch the spanish economy crumble and larf

  7. Hi folks, yes here we go again. What is their issue? To show how mature we are, we should just ignored the imature acts.
    Maybe the UK can place a financial costing and take off the amount from the £39B we may pay the EU upon leaving, then that will rattle them.
    All the best,

    • George mate the £39 billion is only payable if there is an exit agreement, which at the moment there is not. Saint Teresa’s deal is a bad deal. Likely to sign our sovereignty over to the EU and tie us to their red tape heavy rules in a customs union forever.
      Remember none of us voted to join the currently structured EU, we did however vote to leave.
      The Spanish can push things as far as they like the outcome will be that they will lose regardless.
      The last Spanish speaking people to undermine and underestimate us (the Argies) lost and lost badly and have never recovered.

      • A funny thing, all those years of deeper and deeper involvement with the EU yet no major party made it an issue as there were no votes in it until the press stirred it up with siren calls of immigration.

        Today Honda announce their departure and we see the automotive industry going back to the 80s and collapsing around our ears. The price of leaving the EU will be painful and regressive and we will all pay for it. Apart from the very wealthy of course.

        • “the press stirred it up”

          Some. Many others support unmanaged migration. You talk as if all read the DM.

          “no major party made it an issue”

          Lib Dems or Labour are for it so they won’t will they?
          Tory euro sceptics have always been there.
          Who else is there?
          The varied EU treaties have been passed into law by the serving government using the Royal Prerogative, not voted on in Parliament.
          Weirdly enough an article of those same treaties now needs Parliamentary oversight! Oh the irony.

          “Today Honda announce their departure”

          And is that to do with Brexit? Nope.

          “The price of leaving the EU will be painful and regressive”

          Painful yes as things adjust.
          Made worse by the establishment with vested interests ( EU pensions, globalist business, MP’s with fingers in too many pies ) Regressive?
          Creating a trading policy to suit oneself rather than France Germany? Regressive?
          Controlling borders? Regressive?
          Having our elected MP’s responsible for our laws rather than unelected Bureaucrats. Regressive?
          Enacting the will of the majority. Regressive?
          Preventing the population expanding by 1 million every 4 years due to open borders. Regressive?
          I could go on but there is little point.

          Funny how people see things like “Regressive” in different ways.

          Maybe you actually think that “Progressive” is the United States of Europe, with the UK consumed into that as a province of it with little say?

          I think that is terrifying myself.

          Sorry Julian I vehemently disagree with your views.

          • Yes Julian….it is a complete coincidence that car manufacturing in the UK is ending at the same time that our Country blunders towards an uncertain future. Fact is, those that see a bright future in uncertainty also have absolutely no idea how this might be achieved (where are Boris, Mogg et al now)! The acid test is who would want to invest in our country post-Brexit? With Brexit glasses on you can see the shimmering hoards ready to descend with offers…time to wipe the crap off the lenses I think!

        • Julian.

          The head of Honda Europe has already come out and said this has nothing to do with Brexit.

          Honda has recently announced the closure of their plant in Turkey too. Care to explain how this is related to Brexit?

          The reasons for anyone who can be bothered to listen, are the huge drop in demand for diesels in the wake of the VW scandal and greater understanding of the environmental impacts. The rapid uptake of EVs which they didn’t expect to happen so quickly… Then there’s small matter of the EU-japan trade deal which removes import tariffs on cars built in Japan. Japanese car plants closing is an entirely predictable consequence of this zero tarrif trade deal through which the EU negotiated away British and other EU jobs. Good work EU still doing us proud. **rollseyes**

          • Just in case the point wasn’t clear, the EU has thrown thousands of EU car workers, producing cars in Japanese plants, under the bus so the German manufacturers, BE, Mercedes and the VAG group can sell more cars in Japan.

            Top work.

          • I assume that any 0% tariff on cars between the EU and Japan would also apply to Jaguar/Land Rover sales? Sounds like a good deal. Given that the Swindon works have been under some sort of threat for years, it is no surprise that Honda have chosen to quit now. I think that to suggest that Brexit is not an issue, is somewhat erroneous. The European director of Nissan claimed that it was a contributing factor in their decision not to build X-Trail in the UK.

          • Honda found reasons to invest elsewhere no matter how they present it. They are walking away from a long term commitment and interest with the loss of 10,000+ jobs. Now view it through your tinted spectacles if you like but UK is now deemed less attractive to invest in.

          • For all those that swallowed the ‘Brexit not guilty’ argument, automotive industry expert Professor David Bailey of Aston University remarks:
            “Honda came to the UK because it offered a launchpad into the single market. There’s a lot of bewilderment in Japan about Brexit because what we offered them has been taken away.
            “We’re not upholding our side of the deal so they don’t need to either. There may have been more of a chance of the UK being a centre of electric vehicle production if we stayed in the single market and if we had a more supportive industrial stategy.”
            Brexit is a lot more complex than the cheap arguments the public are being fed!

          • Oh Julian, once again I ask could you please explain how Brexit is the cause of Honda’s decision to close it’s plant in Turkey? Remembering of course that Turkey has access to the single market.

            The reasons Honda has given for the closure are perfectly logical, huge reduction in demand for diesels, huge increase in demand for EV which they manufacture elsewhere, EU-Japan trade deal meaning zero import tariffs from Japan, yet you’ll keep banging your head against the wall moaning about Brexit.

            The EU-Japan free trade deal has far more to do with the closure than Brexit does. Why would a Japanese company continue to build cars in Europe, when it could build them at home, contributing more to the Japanese economy than they do when built here?

          • @ Herodotus

            You’ve undermined your own arguments here…

            “Given that the Swindon works have been under some sort of threat for years, it is no surprise that Honda have chosen to quit now.”
            So you acknowledge that this has been on the cards for “years”… We voted to leave the EU 2.5 years ago.

            “The European director of Nissan claimed that it was a contributing factor in their decision not to build X-Trail in the UK.”

            Nissan is a different case, what with it being intimately aligned to the interests of Renault, which coincidentally are intimately aligned with the interests of the French state and more importantly French state aid. Renault owns 44% of Nissan. Nissan owns 15% of Renault.

            It comes as no surprise that committed remainer Prof. Bailey would come out to blame Brexit for the closure while at the same time completely ignoring the fact that the EU themselves have removed the very incentive to build cars in Europe that you mention by engaging in the free trade deal.

            I’m not saying the free trade deal was a bad thing in and of itself, It will/would of course have/had benefits to JLR, but to completely ignore it as a causal factor in the Honda decision is dishonest at best.

          • Yes, Swindon has been under threat for some years, but the Japanese business community is based very much on trust. What Bailey is saying is that if we had honoured our side of bargain, remained in the single market, then Honda would have stayed with Swindon…perhaps even developing electric cars there.
            Does it not strike you as important that the experts on the economics of Brexit think that it is a fool’s errand. Economic/financial experts in academia and industry, captains of industry, managers of small and medium sized businesses, most MPs all think that Brexit is disastrous. Why would you choose to ignore such advice just so that a few petty nationalists can wrap themselves in the Union Jack and sing Rule Britannia. I went to a talk given by Professor Dawkins who said that it was absurd to allow such an important issue to be decided by the economically illiterate. And if you think that this is about more than the economy then try telling that to the dole queues as unemployment inevitably rises. I wouldn’t want the futures of 3 million unemployed by the end of 2019 on my conscience!!

          • Which part of “the EU themselves have removed the very incentive to build cars in Europe that you mention by engaging in the free trade deal.” Are you having trouble understanding?

            Brexit or not, any responsible foreign company would have made this decision once the import tariffs had been removed. It’s simply good business for them.

            It’s why Honda is also closing it’s plant in Turkey. It no longer needs to manufacture cars or motorcycles in Europe in order to access the European Market tariff free.

            The ONLY Honda facilities to remain in Europe post 2021 will both be in Belgium (Aalst and Ghent). I suspect Aalst will be the next to go as they produce a limited number of car parts. The Ghent site is now mainly used as a logistics/storage facility. This will go once Aalst closes.

            Does it strike me as important to listen solely to bed wetters and the institutionalised EU cuckolds/sycophants at the expense of taking the time to understand the situation myself? No, not really.

          • Not much surprise there really. So you understand the economic situation better than the experts…wow. You understand the car industry better than a world expert. Don’t exactly suffer from self-doubt do you. Be careful with your hubris!

          • “Not much surprise there really. So you understand the economic situation better than the experts…wow. You understand the car industry better than a world expert. Don’t exactly suffer from self-doubt do you. Be careful with your hubris!”

            A similar response when poor RGR made his points back to you on the Tornado thread recently….

            You sound rattled.

          • There is nothing poor about RGR…he is more than capable of defending himself and making insulting remarks about the elderly and minority groups in our society…in case you hadn’t noticed? ChrisJ has come up with some excellent arguments that I have a lot of respect for. However, claiming that the experts that are against Brexit are sycophants/cuckolds of the EU is errant tribalism and an unworthy denial of their experience and integrity. Really let himself down there. Enjoy the rest of the evening.

          • Do I understand the situation better than every “expert” out there? No, almost certainly not, but multiple engineering degrees, a first class masters in economics and a first class MBA do perhaps give me a bit more of a clue than the average ‘knuckle-dragging’ Brexiteer. Most of the experts coming out of the woodwork to declare this the sole fault of brexit in the likes of the Guardian and Independent have often enough already nailed their colours to the mast with such blatantly one-sided or blinkered arguments that I do rather think they are sycophants, willing to say pretty much anything so long as it’s in favour of continued membership of the EU.
            On reflection, I will concede to you that Brexit has most likely sped up the timeframes involved for Toyota, but I still refute it as being the primary cause of the plant closures some people would have us believe. They’ve taken an action decision today that they would likely have put off for 3-5 years if Brexit weren’t happening.
            In my experience, Japanese companies tend to be rather nationalistic in some regards so we have to consider the sense of corporate/social responsibility that Japanese manufacturers feel. These companies didn’t build factories in Europe because they wanted to, they would have far rather have built them in Japan where Japanese workers are employed and taxes paid to the Japanese government for the betterment of the country as a whole.
            I’m not usually one for making crystal-ball predictions but if the EU-Japan free trade deal stays as it is currently structured with 0% tariffs on car imports, there will be no Japanese car manufacturing plants left in Europe 15-20 years from now. As new models are developed Japanese car manufacturers will tool-up factories in Japan rather than Europe.
            I think the EU have made an exceptionally poor business decision in signing a trade deal that includes 0% tariffs on car imports in either direction. Japan has a population of around 126m people. The EU is a little over 500m if memory serves correct. Sure, Audi, BMW and Mercedes will sell a few more cars in Japan as a result, but I strongly believe the EU negotiators have overestimated the demand expected. Japanese consumers will for the most part stick with what they know, Japanese cars. The number of cars imported to Europe from Japan will dwarf the number sent back in the other direction.
            I should also point out for the record that I voted remain in the referendum, however I believe this whole sordid process has demonstrated without any doubt that the Europeans, the French, German and Spanish in particular, are NOT our friends. They have not approached these negotiations in the spirit outlined in Article 50, though our side could have been a damnside better as well. Given the opportunity to vote again, I would vote leave.

  8. Nothing Changes…..60 years ago we ex Rock Apes ( now well retired British Squaddies permanently stationed on the Rock) would line up at Buena Vista ( ‘Good View’ in Spanish) Barracks to jeer at the might of the Spanish Navy in the form of a rusty old coal burning Vessel nicked named ‘Smoky Joe’ as it lurched and limped around and befouled the clean air in the Bay of Gibraltar, scaring the hell out of the Spanish fishermen who regularly fished quite close in to the Western shores of the Rock. They didn’t trouble the several dozen Warships (Proper ones, Y’know!) of USA, UK, France etc. all moored up happily along the Moles which form the Harbour in Gibraltar and noticed only when the breeze blew the filthy oily smoke from Smoky Joe all over their uniform whites! 🙁

  9. George has made a very good point. Price up the rate for sending a P2000 and or a Gib Police boat to deal with this stupidity, and send the bill to Madrid or Brussels. It will only be a small proportion of the £39bn, (or whatever the final figure may be), but it will concentrate minds. It might also mean that the Spaniards could stop playing silly b’s and spend a bit more time and fuel supporting NATO. They are supposed to be our allies?

  10. The fact that they manned weapons is somewhat concerning. The blatant disregard the Spanish are already displaying for international is one thing, but actually preparing to fire?

    Rename the last R2 to HMS Gibraltar and station her there. An escalation for sure, but not as aggressive and wasteful as an escort. Would probably be good for morale as well, a nice Mediterranean cruise with occasional opportunity to about at the Spanish, it’s practically a holiday.

    • Definitely! Would love to see a couple of ORCs fully laden with Marines in full boarding kit including ladders.

      Just to be clear…I don’t advocate boarding…would just be a good photo op 🙂

  11. Hmmmm, glad the comments on this page are less enthusiastic than last time. It really is silly behaviour on the part of the Spanish. I find it interesting how the tonnage of naval vessels has increased since WW2. An OPV of nearly 2,500 tons would have been the equivalent of a WW2 destroyer!

  12. People need to keep in mind there is a Spanish election coming up and the Spanish navy is as Left / Right politicised as any and probably more so. Also the uk wants a deal with the eu and the eu and a getting fed up with Spain. So if a response must happen a quick incursion into Spanish waters or airspace is the most required. Mostly best to ignore them.

  13. Daniele; you’re wrong. We can hardly be portrayed as the aggressor here. If somebody keeps p***ing in your front garden you do something about it. A NATO ally? Give over!

    • In a sensible world. This is not a sensible world and media would have a field day.

      I believe a poor farmer did something about it when thieving pikes invaded his propety years back? He was arrested and jailed I recall.

      I agree with the action he took. And I agree with you.

      But we have to be realistic.

        • Exactly. Diffuse by making the whole thing ludicrous.

          If someone is winding another up and can see that it’s successful they continue. Either ignore or retaliate in kind making the Spanish look foolish.

          I agree with Evan P further above. Spain has not invaded so it is not a war scenario.

          • If a country imposes a blockade it is an act of war. Fact. I agree this is not quite a blockade but it is a breach of international law nevertheless.

            This can’t be ignored.

          • Just to be clear.

            This was what I was referring to over my comment that reacting too far makes Britain looks like the aggressor.

            From Mr Bell:

            “Park QE and a full battle group at Gib for a few weeks. Have a few astute class patrolling around visible on the surface. Just demonstrate the overwhelming firepower we could bring to bear.

            That is OTT for this whole situation, and just fans the flames, giving Spain full coverage of an issue important to them.

            By all means respond if the Rock is attacked or blockaded as 4thwatch says.

            But this is none of those things.

    • Wonder if NATO secretary general could write a newspaper piece along the lines.
      “This is not the behaviour of allies, stop trying to involve Gibraltar in Spanish politics. If it continues the 3 Aegis destroyers based in Rota will move to Plymouth or better still based at Gibraltar.

  14. Im sure this has been discussed before, but why doesn’t the UK use Corvettes? Something like a Karakurt would be perfect for the rock. I understand that ship is not an option but there must be others designs available

      • we should buy the sigma 10514, same dimensions as a river with 20 more crew, yet comes with exocet twin triple tube torpedo launchers two quad anti air launchers and a 76mm gun. its only political willpower that stops it being done but better still we’ve 9 of them ALREADY BUILT

    • I Think HMS Rodney should have been permanently based there. With a sign saying “Private Property, Keep Out. Or Else “

    • For the UK, Corvettes don’t make much sense. They are way over-armed (with all the associated expense including manning of complex weapons) and typically lack endurance and range for the roles/applications that the RN are responsible for. Corvette characteristics are fine for a short endurance coastal defence role which is where they seem to be used most. Gibraltar and the Spanish behaviour don’t justify anything beyond fast patrol patrol boats that primarily serve other policing roles.

      Consider that the Batch 2 OPV versus Karakurt has >2x endurance at 35 days , >2x the range at 10,000+ km, in a lightly armed platform that is more than adequate for Falkland Islands, Caribbean and domestic policing patrols. Very different roles and requirements. The next logical step up is Type 31 frigate with 35 day+ endurance and >3x range the range of Karakurt for WW operations.

      • Thank you for the reply Glass Half Full, the need for better endurance/range makes sense for your needs, where for us in the Baltic and Black sea it makes no difference. I am looking forward to seeing what the final design will be picked for the T31

  15. The quisling British government speaks:
    No incursion by Spanish during Gibraltar incident: UK PM May’s spokesman
    LONDON (Reuters) – There was no incursion by Spanish naval forces during an incident near Gibraltar at the weekend, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday.

    Gibraltar said that a Spanish warship tried to order commercial shipping to leave anchorages in British waters near Gibraltar on Sunday but was challenged by the British navy and sailed away.

    “There was no incursion on this occasion. We are certain of our sovereignty over the whole of Gibraltar, including British -Gibraltar territory waters, and any incursions are a violation of sovereignty, but not a threat to it ,” the spokesman said.

  16. Can we have the option to add Gifs and memes please???
    Id like to add the ‘Margaret Thatcher saying Sink it one while looking at I assume Henry Leach in the Iron Lady’

  17. At some point, the poor seamanship displayed by the Spanish Navy will come back to haunt them – they’ll either crash into the Rock or into a merchant vessel.

    And guess who’ll go out to rescue them?

  18. They’re bored, probably more exciting than fire drills and damage control scenarios.
    Maybe soon, they will realise just how unprofessional this type of behaviour is.

  19. @ captain P Walsh

    But I don’t think a faster something with a bigger is what is need either. 20mm and over you would face the danger of the projectile entering one side of the ship and passing clear through to end up who knows where……..Loosing of .50bmg or even 7.62 would be a bit risky too.

    I would humbly suggest we need something with a very ‘solid’ hull but something quicker than a tug…….

    • Steve, I’ve got It, Lets stick a great big Cannon on the Top of the Rock then. (Not sure If It’s been thought of before ).

      • Yep, and some are still there. Check out the Grand Siege of Gibraltar (1779 – 1783). A new carriage for muzzle loaders was developed, that allowed the gun to point downwards at least -45 degrees from the horizontal. These were used to great effect along with “hot potato” shot against the combined French and Spanish besiegers. After the siege, these were replaced with 64 pounders that had a range of 4.5km. The siege was a decisive victory for the British and made Spain forever cede Gibraltar to us as part of the peace plan.

      • Cap’n, yep its been done before and some are still there in the mountain. Check our the Great Siege of Gibraltar (1779 – 1783). During the siege a new carriage was designed for the muzzle loaders, so that they could point downwards by at least -45 degrees from the horizontal. These when using the “hot potato” shot devastated the combined French and Spanish forces. The siege was a resounding defeat for both France and Spain. As part of the peace terms, Spain ceded Gibraltar to us for perpetuity. The adhoc guns were replaced by dedicated 64 pounders that had the same depression but had a range of 4.5Km. The 64 pounders can still be found in the tunnels.


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