MEP speaks out over Gibraltar row


The British Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson hit out at the "intemperate" comments of Spain's foreign minister on the row over Gibraltar, during the parliament's daily voting session on 10 September 2013.

Sir Graham, whose South West England constituency also covers Gibraltar said he wanted the European Parliament to send "a message of solidarity to Gibraltarians and a message of dismay at the comments of [foreign minister] Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo".

Mr Garcia-Margallo spoke out during the summer, saying: "Gibraltar is, has been and will be a national priority".

The Spanish authorities increased checks at the Gibraltar border in August, leading to lengthy delays.

Gibraltar said the increased checks came after it dropped 74 concrete blocks into the sea next to its territory to create an artificial reef.

The territory has claimed the reef will encourage sea life to flourish, but the Spanish said the blocks would disrupt waters used by its fishing boats.

When MEPs moved on to the series of votes, they voted to:

The votes were followed by MEPs offering explanations for the way in which they voted.

Useful links:

The European Parliament's disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations can be found here.

Read Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work here.

A full speaker's list can be found here.

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