Expatica news

Fresh row over nuclear sub at The Rock

11 May 2004

ALGERICAS – A British nuclear submarine which is expected to leave Gibraltar Tuesday has sparked a row with Spain.

HMS Trenchant was expected to leave the base after spending 24 hours re-stocking after months under water.

Spanish politicians and ecologists have protested to the Spanish foreign affairs ministry over the visit.

José Carracao, a Socialist senator, has voiced his worries, along with those of ecological groups, about the presence of the nuclear submarine in the area.

But the British government has assured their Spanish counterparts that HMS Trenchant underwent a re-fit in March and all the nuclear substances on board are new and present no risk.

However, the Spanish politicians demonstrated their “total and absolute” discomfort at the presence of the submarine in the base.

In 2001, HMS Tireless, another nuclear submarine of the same class as Trenchant, left Gibraltar after remaining there for almost a year.

The presence of the HMS Tireless in Gibraltar caused outrage among environmentalists and strained relations between Spain and the UK.

The submarine left the harbour and had to be accompanied by Royal Navy patrol vessels because protesters gathered for its send off.

Protestors urged the British government Tuesday to use specialised ports to re-supply nuclear submarines in the future.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news