Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

MEPs probe Gibraltar frontier queues

Gibraltar Chronicle - 14th November 2012

Gibraltar’s two Conservative MEPs have tabled a joint question in the European Parliament following last month’s six-hour border queues.

Charles Tannock and Ashley Fox described the serious impact that lengthy queues have on Gibraltar’s limited road network.

They highlighted concerns that clogged up roads could slow down emergency services and put people’s lives at risk in the event of a fire or an accident.

They also said that the knock-on gridlock caused by border delays could have a long-term impact on Gibraltar’s economy.

The queues, “…if deliberately imposed, constitute a breach by Spain of the EU principle of freedom of movement of persons, with potentially serious ramifications,” the two MEPs said in their question.

As well as economic consequences, the MEPs said there would be environmental and air quality consequences due to static or slow-flowing traffic.

“Is the Commission aware of any recent downturn in relations between Spain and Gibraltar?” the Tory MEPs asked.

“Can it investigate whether these allegations are a deliberate attempt by Spain to make life more difficult for Gibraltarians and therefore constitute economic sanctions against the territory of another Member State (the UK)?”

“Will it raise these concerns with the Government of the Kingdom of Spain?”

The question was asked last month but has yet to be answered by the European Commission.

Since it was tabled, the flow of border traffic has improved dramatically and the lengthy queues have ceased.