Graham Watson MEP
Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar
A local champion with an international reputation
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Published on Thursday 17th January 2013
Liberal MEP for Gibraltar Sir Graham Watson has dispatched an urgent parliamentary question to the European Commission following revelations that the Spanish authorities are restricting the importation of cigarettes across La Línea de la Concepción frontier from Gibraltar. The new rules mean persons living within a radius of 15 kilometres from the border, will only be allowed to bring 80 cigarettes across the border instead of 200 cigarettes per month.
Sir Graham has asked the Commission to investigate whether or not attempting to implement such a restriction to a specific geographic area discriminates against the residents of Campo de Gibraltar.
"It seems to be one rule for the area around Gibraltar containing a sizeable British community and one rule for other autonomous areas such as Andorra where you are entitled to bring 300 cigarettes a month across the border.
"In my opinion such a measure rides roughshod over the rights of residents in the area and I have asked the Commission as a matter of urgency to investigate the matter."