British warship heads to Gibraltar amid tensions
PORTSMOUTH (AFP) - The British warship HMS Westminster set sail on Tuesday on a training exercise that will include a stop at Gibraltar, the territory at the centre of a row between Britain and Spain.
The type 23 frigate left Portsmouth naval base on England's south coast to join nine other Royal Navy vessels heading for the Mediterranean and the Gulf.
Defence officials said the training exercise has long been planned and follows similar deployments in 2011 and 2012, but it comes at a time of heightened tensions over Gibraltar, a rocky outpost on the southern coast of Spain.
The British government on Monday said it was considering legal action over "totally disproportionate" border checks imposed by Spain on the British outpost, which have led to traffic tailbacks lasting several hours.