The British and Spanish prime ministers have spoken on the phone to try to clear the air amid the latest row over the disputed UK territory of Gibraltar.
Spain has defended its border checks that have been causing long delays. They were increased after Gibraltar dropped concrete blocks into the bay to encourage marine life, angering Spanish fishermen.
Speaking after the phone call, David Cameron said:
“It is not acceptable, what’s been happening to the people of Gibraltar, in terms of the delays and other things that they’ve faced, and I made that point clear. Of course there is a fishing dispute between Gibraltar and Spain, that needs to be settled, and we agree that should be settled, but it’s not right to escalate this in the way that has been done, and I made that very clear to the Spanish Prime Minister. We agreed our foreign ministers would speak, and try to resolve these issues, but I’m very clear that Britain will always stand up for the people of Gibraltar.”
According to Cameron, Mariano Rajoy promised the border checks would be reduced – a version not confirmed by Spain.
Its prime minister reportedly defended the controls as obligatory because Gibraltar is outside the Schengen zone.