Politicians in Catalonia, in northern Spain, have leapt into the row between the UK and Spain over the future of Gibraltar by accusing the Madrid government of bullying the people of the Rock.
Spain has imposed strict border controls which have forced motorists trying to cross the border into Gibraltar to queue for up to five hours in sweltering heat.
Their action is the escalation of a dispute over fishing rights off Gibraltar. The row was sparked after Gibraltar created an artificial reef which, the Spanish say, will destroy fishing in the area.
The Esquerra Republicana party, which seeks independence for Catalonia from Spain, has written to Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo. “We most sincerely regret the improper bullying and harassment that the Spanish government is applying on the citizens you represent,” it said in the letter.