Expatica news

Fresh row over Gibraltar ship law

7 May 2004

MADRID – Britain has complained to Spain that a cruise ship which left Gibraltar was prevented from docking in Barcelona, diplomatic sources said Friday.

Stephen Wright, the British Ambassador to Spain, “expressed his displeasure” that a cruise ship leaving the port of Gibraltar was denied access to Barcelona harbour.

But, according to Spanish diplomatic sources, Spain is simply applying current legislation.

A Merchant Marine law dating from 1986 and later ratified clearly states that ships leaving Gibraltar are denied permission to dock at any Spanish harbour.

Cruise ships usually get around by docking at other ports in the north of Africa.

In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, Wright expressed the British government’s regret over the affair, which London said benefited neither Gibraltar nor Spain in view of the open conflict over the Rock’s sovereignty.

British diplomatic sources refused to comment over whether the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry had contacted the British embassy in response to Wright’s complaints.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news