GIBRALTAR’S chief minister says he will be ‘delighted’ to welcome Royal Navy ships to the Rock.
It comes after the Ministry of Defence confirmed Portsmouth-based HMS Westminster and two Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships will visit the territory as part of an upcoming routine deployment.
Relations between the UK and Spain have deteriorated in recent weeks amid a row over talk from Madrid that a £43 fee could be imposed on every vehicle entering and leaving the British Mediterranean outpost through its border with Spain.
In a statement sent to The News, Gibraltar’s chief minister Fabian Picardo said: ‘Gibraltar has a long and close relationship with the Royal Navy.
‘We will be delighted to welcome HMS Westminster and the two RFAs back to the Rock.
‘It is further proof, if any were needed, of the continuing strategic importance of Gibraltar and its territorial waters.’
The Ministry of Defence says the visit by HMS Westminster is ‘long-planned and well-established’.