Royal-navy-ship-823658A ROYAL Navy patrol boat came within yards of being rammed by a Spanish warship in British waters off Gibraltar on Saturday.

The ‘dangerous’ clash brought condemnation from the Gibraltar Government.
The incident came just two weeks before the UK’s Queen Elizabeth hosts Spanish King Felipe and his wife Letizia for an official state visit.

Andrew Rosindell MP called for the visit to be scrapped. “The people of Gibraltar are rightly nervous. They break the rules while we, in turn, welcome the King and Queen of Spain for a state visit. What kind of message is that for the people of Gibraltar?

“The people of Gibraltar are very unnerved, and rightly so. The Government needs to be much more robust.”

Military sources confirmed the Spanish warship, the 1,200-ton Centinela, deliberately ignored radio calls broadcast by Gibraltar in Spanish urging it to leave British territorial waters.

Fabian Picardo said: “These silly but dangerous manoeuvres by a supposed Nato ally are operationally irresponsible, legally irrelevant and politically inopportune.

“They do nothing to create a positive environment for mutual co-operation and instead hark back to another century.”