Gibraltar sold short on aviation security

UK Government in backdoor deal on Gibraltar

Brussels, 20 February 2006 -- Sir Robert Atkins MEP, commenting on a report which aims to improve security at airports across the EU has today heard that the Government has raised no objections in the Council of Ministers to a Spanish proposal to introduce a clause excluding Gibraltar from its scope.

Sir Robert, who is a Conservative Member of the Transport Committee in the European Parliament, reacted angrily to the news which was published in a Government briefing on the dossier.

Speaking from Brussels today, he commented:

"Aviation security is more important today than it has ever been. The report I am working on sets out to improve previous security guidelines, which unfortunately included a clause which exempted Gibraltar." "The Spanish attempt to re-introduce this clause in these proposals is nothing but an attempt to make a petty political point. Our own Government have raised no objections to this request, which given that Gibraltar is part of the UK should anger the people of Gibraltar greatly."

"This is not the first time Gibraltar have been given a raw deal because of Spanish spite and similarly not the first time the British Government has caved in. It is about time our Government stood up to Spain and represented Gibraltar as part of our UK sovereign territory."

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