BRITAIN could “cripple” Spain in a war over Gibraltar, a former Royal Navy commander has said as tensions build over the future of The Rock after Brexit.
Rear-Adml Chris Parry, a former director of operational capability at the Ministry of Defence, said: “We could cripple Spain in the medium term and I think the Americans would probably support us too.
“In terms of military capability we would vastly outnumber them and our capacity to do them harm is far greater.
“We are significantly more powerful than them, if it came to it we are probably three times more powerful than they are.”
Rear-Admiral Parry told The Telegraph he didn’t expect tensions to boil over into military action, but called on the Government to invest in the Armed Forces if it plans to “talk big” over the British territory.
It comes after former Tory leader Lord Howard hinted that Theresa May could go to war over the sovereignty of the British territory Gibraltar.
Lord Howard compared the squabble over the future of the Spanish tip to Margaret Thatcher’s Falklands war – as the Prime Minister offered reassurance to the people on The Rock that the UK was committed to them.
He said the Government would “stand by Gibraltar” no matter what – after EU guidelines this week issued Spain an effective veto over applying a Brexit deal to the area.
Lord Howard told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Thirty-five years ago this week another woman Prime Minister sent a task force half way across the world to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish-speaking country.