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UK protests Spanish border checks at Gibraltar

August 6, 2013

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s foreign ministry says that its ambassador to Madrid has lodged a formal protest with Spanish authorities over what it described as disproportionate border checks between Spain and the tiny British enclave of Gibraltar.

The U.K. government said Tuesday that top diplomat Giles Paxman had visited Spain’s foreign ministry to seek an explanation for suggestions that fees would be levied at the border between the British territory and Spain.

Spain has long laid claim to Gibraltar, and the tiny territory on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula is the source of occasional diplomatic friction between Madrid and London.

The latest spat involves an artificial reef being built in Gibraltar that Spain says is hurting its fishermen. It has floated the idea of charging border fees as compensation.

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