Spain refuses to back down in border dispute

Spain has said it will not back down on Gibraltar border controls, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry has said. The government feels that controls are “legal and proportionate”.

Tensions were raised after a dispute over fishing rights unleashed an underlying conflict regarding sovereignty, with Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy proposing the introduction of a €50 fee to cross the Spain-Gibraltar border - a charge that would hit tourists and those crossing to go to work.

Downing Street has said it is considering legal action, while the Spanish government has said it could take the case to the UN Security Council. If it goes to the UN, Spain may seek the support of Argentina, whose dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands has a number of similarities.