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UK mulling legal action in Gibraltar spat

August 12, 2013

LONDON (AP) — The British government says it is considering taking Spain to court if it does not ease border checks on traffic entering the disputed enclave of Gibraltar.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said Monday that legal action would be “an unprecedented step” and Britain is thinking carefully about it.

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. U.K. officials have complained to their Spanish counterparts recently about long delays for cross-border traffic.