Gibraltar and the UK would be better off out of the EU claims a UKIP MEP following revelations that the taxpayer is paying up to an extra £10,000 per each RAF jet flight due to having to fly a costly detour due to being banned from Spanish airspace.

South West and Gibraltar MEP Dr Julia Reid says the figure shows EU membership does not help Gibraltar and the UK as it has no impact on the behaviour of Spain.

There have been hundreds of unlawful incursions by Spanish vessels into British waters in Gibraltar and in August Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo was reported to have been “astonished and appalled” over the incursions into British waters.

Despite this, Mr Picardo has said the EU needs to be ‘fixed, not thrown away’ and has the UK to remain part of the European Union.

Commenting today, Dr Julia Reid MEP, said: “In light of these figures, that taxpayers’ are having to stump up an additional £5,000 to £10,000 for each RAF jet flight, due to being banned from Spanish airspace, surely you have to ask how is the EU helping Gibraltar and indeed the UK?

“Today there was a debate in Parliament when they talked about Spanish Patrol boats, barging Gibraltarian boats and firing live round across the heads of tourists in a pleasure boat and people in small boat fishing.


“Spanish incursions fly in the face of international law and are increasing tensions.


“It is time for Britain to leave the constriction of the EU and, through doing so, we would be far better placed to stand up for Gibraltar and its interests,” she added.