Block on Gibraltar: Spain stops 10,000 vehicles at border sparking SIX HOUR queues in latest spat over sovereignty of British territory
Spanish authorities 'choked' the border, causing massive tailbacks yesterday in 30C heat
Move follows standoff between Spanish fishermen and Royal Navy over artificial reef in Bay of Gibraltar
Spanish police stopped every one of 10,000 vehicles leaving Gibraltar for the mainland yesterday, causing six-hour traffic jams in the latest escalation in the standoff over the Rock.
Officers from the Royal Gibraltar Police were forced to impose diversions and create beachside holding areas as Spanish authorities 'choked' the border, causing massive tailbacks in 30C heat.
It was the second day that border guards had blocked links to the mainland, in a move that seemed calculated to bring Gibraltar to a standstill.
The move follows a string of recent incidents which have included Spanish police opening fire on a jet-skier in British waters, incursions by Spanish police boats, and Spanish air force jets roaring across the territory.
In the extraordinary jet-ski incident last month, a boat from Spain’s Guardia Civil entered Gibraltan waters and took potshots at 32-year-old Dale Villa as he rode his watercraft close to a popular beach.
Mr Villa was not wanted for any particular crime and was not thought to have strayed out of British waters into Spanish territory – although the line between the two is far from clear to people in the sea.
Foreign Office minister David Lidington had condemned the shooting as ‘completely unacceptable’ and called on Spain to take action against those responsible.
Most recently Spanish fishermen sparked a stand-off with the Royal Navy as they attempted to disrupt the creation of an artificial reef in the Bay of Gibraltar last week.
The fishermen used fast boats to weave in between British vessels involved in the reef-laying operation in a bid to create large waves to disrupt the work, the Sunday Express reported.
The Gibraltar government had said Spain created "deliberate hold-ups" to traffic travelling to and from the British territory and Spain over the weekend and Friday.
Foreign Secretary William Hague called the Spanish Foreign Minister on Sunday to express "serious concerns".
It follows earlier accusations of Spanish incursions into British waters.
Spain disputes UK sovereignty over Gibraltar, a limestone outcrop on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula, which has been ruled by Britain since 1713.
Three-hundred years ago.