A Spanish naval vessel was filmed today entering waters off Gibraltar apparently playing the Spanish national anthem.
"It may not undermine sovereignty for the UK, but for us Gibralterians it's an invasion of [territorial waters]," wrote the Twitter user who posted the video, a Gibraltar resident. They called on the British government to "take action in defence of its people".
@foreignoffice @HMGoG_MIP enough is enough it may not undermine sovereignty for the UK,but for as Gibralterians it's an invasion of BGTW.The UK Government must take action in defence of it's people. pic.twitter.com/QNGKpCjXKw— Nicholas Karnani🎗🎗🎗🇬🇧🇬🇮🇬🇧🇬🇮🇬🇧🇬🇮🇬🇧 (@Atajate71) 4 de desembre de 2018
Reports differ as to whether the ship did play the Spanish anthem or not. What's clear from public tracking data, however, is that the incursion into British waters took place.
Specialist outlet UK Defence Journal reported on the incident, writing that the warship "illegally sailed through the waters of the British territory of Gibraltar". An independent, pro-Royal Navy group, meanwhile, described the Spanish ship's actions as "illegal, provocative and childish".
A Spanish warship has illegally sailed through the waters of the British territory of Gibraltar, blasting the Spanish national anthem on loudspeakers. https://t.co/wpTS13AqZP— UK Defence Journal (@UKDefJournal) 4 de desembre de 2018
The vessel involved was the Descubierta-class corvette Infanta Elena (P-76), commissioned in 1980.
This incident comes just days after tensions between the Spanish and British governments over the status of Gibraltar after Brexit and negotiations on its future.