Thousands of people trying to leave Gibraltar have been stuck in lengthy queues as a result of new tighter Spanish custom controls.
Tensions over the disputed British outpost are now at their highest level in years in a row over fishing rights which Spain says it has a right to defend.
“We want to enter a dialogue and are looking to reach an understanding. Spain’s interest must be defended now and that is what the Spanish government is doing right now as we’re entitled to,” said Ana Pastor, Spain’s Development Minister
But Gibraltar’s leaders say the biggest victims of Spain’s tactics are the people and this is not the way to find a solution.
Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “I think the way not to deal with international disputes is to create queues at borders which affect the elderly, the infirm and the young. I think the right thing to do is to either go to the international tribunal that are established for that purpose and I challenged Spain at the UN in October to take issues with Gibraltar to an international court or enter into political dialogue.”
With fishing rights at the heart of the dispute, it appears increasingly likely that both sides will resort to legal action to resolve the row.