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Spain outrage as UK sends three ‘floating bomb’ nuclear subs to Gibraltar in just a month

Verdemar-Ecologistas en Acción, a non-governmental organisation, has condemned the deployment and warned it puts “at risk the region of Andalusia”. Spain has been at odds with the UK after Brexit due to issues with borders on Gibraltar.

The environmental group said the presence of up to three nuclear-powered submarines in Gibraltar in a month because of the “risk it poses to the population due to the operations carried out there.”

It follows reports and images showing the HMS Artful, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Lancaster in port near Gibraltar’s Europa Point.

HMS Artful, an Astute-class nuclear submarine, docked in Gibraltar on World Environment Day on June 5, before it “returned 30 days later” according to the group.

They said: “We suspect that repairs are still being made to these ‘floating bombs’ ever since HMS Tireless left the waters of the Bay of Algeciras 20 years ago.”

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Because of the naval deployments, Verdemar-Ecologistas en Acción suggested the military port of Gibraltar “is becoming a port X, where the United Kingdom takes its submarines to repair.”

They then said: “We ask once and for all that Gibraltar is free of nuclear propulsion devices.

“We do not have or want a nuclear Emergency Plan, but for them to leave.

“We warn that we are not going to keep using only words, we will act using methods that are within our reach to ward off this nuclear risk.”

HMS Prince of Wales sailed over to Gibraltar on July 7 for a brief logistical stopover in its operations.

At the end of June, the US also sent their first ballistic missile Submarine to Gibraltar in more than two decades.

The USS Alaska, which can carry up to 20 Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, was the first time an Ohio class SSBN had paid a visit to the Her Majesty’s Naval Base Gibraltar since 1999.

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It follows Britain and France’s row over Jersey fishing rights earlier this year, which saw the UK send Royal Navy gunboats.

In May, French fishers in Jersey were angered by post-Brexit changes to fishing licences and new restrictions.

HMS Severn and its sister ship HMS Tamar were deployed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as 60 fishing vessels sailed to the port of St Helier.

The French navy also sent two of its ships to monitor the situation.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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