A British warship will visit Gibraltar later this month, amid increased tensions relating to the overseas territory with Spain.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed HMS Westminster and two other ships will visit Gibraltar while other elements of a task force will visit Spanish ports as part of training exercises known as Cougar 13.
The MoD said the deployment is “long planned” and not connected to the political tensions in the region, which have flared up following talk from Madrid that a €50 (£43.30) fee could be imposed on every vehicle entering or leaving the British Mediterranean outpost through its border with Spain.
There have been allegations of damage to fishing grounds caused by Gibraltarian authorities, following the creation of an artificial reef, while checks at the Rock’s border with Spain have resulted in lengthy queues.
Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, has likened the Spanish behaviour to something from the Franco era or the regime in North Korea.
Prime Minister David Cameron told Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy the situation at the border with Gibraltar was “not acceptable” as the two leaders held talks aimed at calming tensions.