2013 – Differences of opinion between Spain and the UK government re-emerged in July 2013 after the Government of Gibraltar put a series of concrete blocks at sea off the coast of Gibraltar to form an artificial reef. However, the Spanish government protested and said that this would have negative effects on fishing in the area, which would limit access to Spanish fishing vessels. At the end of July, the Spanish government introduced additional border controls for people who entered and exited Spain. The British government protested because the controls caused considerable delays of up to seven hours while people waited for the border crossing, and on 2 August the Spanish ambassador was summoned to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London to discuss these developments.  “The government is sending a very clear message of calm and security because it is prepared for all scenarios of withdrawal from the UNITED Kingdom with an agreement, which would be much more desirable, or without agreement,” government spokeswoman Isabel Celaé said last Friday, announcing new measures. continue to vote and run in municipal elections. The Spanish government made the announcement on 11 January, after discussing contingency plans for the UK`s withdrawal from the European Union. The recapture of the territory became a government policy under the regime of dictator Francisco Franco and remained under successive governments after the democratic transition of Spain. The Gibraltarians themselves oppose such an assertion and no political party or lobby group in Gibraltar supports union with Spain.
In a referendum in 2002, the people of Gibraltar rejected a proposal for common sovereignty on which Spain and the United Kingdom would have reached a “broad agreement”. The British government is now refusing to discuss sovereignty without the agreement of Gibraltars. In two referendums held in September 1967 and November 2002, the people of Gibraltar rejected any proposal to transfer sovereignty to Spain. The 2002 referendum was accompanied by a proposal for common sovereignty supported by the British government in a phase. In view of the themes of the decolonization of Gibraltar, Spain asserts that this is a bilateral affair between sovereign nations, based on UN resolutions on “territorial integrity”, which predominates in Spain the right to self-determination vis-à-vis the settlers themselves.  On the other hand, the Gibraltar authorities regard Gibraltar as legitimate residents of the territory and are therefore entitled to the right to self-determination, in accordance with UNITED Nations resolutions.