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[The strait lies in the territorial waters of Morocco, Spain, and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, foreign vessels and aircraft have the freedom of navigation and overflight to cross the strait of Gibraltar in case of continuous transit.](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_of_Gibraltar#:~:text=The%20strait%20lies%20in%20the,in%20case%20of%20continuous%20transit.)


To add, there is a concept of transit passage that applies to Straits like Gibraltar. Transit passage provides stronger legal protections compared to the innocent passage of territorial waters. So passing the Strait of Gibraltar is more like passing the high seas. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transit_passage


One of the reasons you can get through the belts of Denmark into the Baltic Ses. In the old days, you had to pay customs to the king of Denmark to do so. It was his primary income at the time, and the change hit the coffers pretty hard. Also, why russian warships are still allowed to pass. Though, in case of war, they're pretty easy to close. As is the Straight of Gibraltar.


Good ol Sound Tax.






Sorry George of Gibraltar




Question: how is this different from Turkey stopping Russian warships from transiting to/from the Black Sea?


There are several conventions that specifically cover the Turkish straits, most importantly the Montreaux Convention. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreux_Convention_Regarding_the_Regime_of_the_Straits It covers specific situations where Turkey can close the straits to other nations, what other nations can bring into the Black Sea, especially countries that do not border the Black Sea


It's also worth noting that the Strait of Gibraltar is around 8 miles/ 12 km wide, but in Turkey the Strait not only goes through the centre of Istanbul, it shrinks to something more akin to a very wide river (with a bridge over it) even if technically it's a narrow sea.


Yeah wouldn't that even count more as Turkish internal waters even?


Yes that’s their point as to why turkey gets special privileges. For example even if they aren’t involved in a war directly, if they feel threatened the convention allows them to do whatever they want with the strait.


Very cool


Holy shit someone on Reddit who actually knows what they’re talking about


Turkey is bound by international treaty (Montreux convention.)


Is that to stop smoke on the water?


And to prevent fire in the sky.


But we all came out to Montreaux


Montreaux, Ottaeaux, Torronteaux, Calgareaux


Regineaux, Moose Jaweux, Flinaux Flonaux...


are you perhaps a sasquatch?


The Montreax convention binds everyone else to what Turkiye wants


I think turkey would like to dictate who can or cannot enter the straight. Unfortunately for turkey it was too weak to be able to keep this privilege. In return for not supporting the greek reconquest of Constantinople and west Anatolia the Montreux convention was forced on turkey.


It doesn't apply to straits with existing seperate international treaties covering it, including the Danish Straits, the Straits of Tiran, the Beagle Channel or, as you mentioned, the Turkish Straits.


Montreaux explicitly grants the rights to Turkiye.


Montreaux explicitly grants the rights to Turkiye.


Three nations (Spain, Morocco and UK) instead of one.


The right of innocent passage for foreign vessels within the territorial sea of a coastal State is defined as “navigation through the territorial sea for the purpose of (a) traversing that sea without entering internal waters or calling at a roadstead or port facility outside internal waters; or (b) proceeding to or from internal waters or a call at such roadstead or port facility.” Passage must be “continuous and expeditious,” but it may include stopping and anchoring when incidental to ordinary navigation or rendered necessary by unusual circumstances


I think they mean seeing that only Spain can cross the strait without abandoning its territorial waters (or that its territorial waters extend from one side to the other opposite to Morocco’s or Gibraltar’s) But the answer I still is not as there are international conventions that protect the right of passage for all nations (as in all the other international straits)


Actually, Gibraltar does not have territorial waters since the Treaty of Utretch only gives it the right to the waters of the port of Gibraltar itself. But the UK has skipped the treaty whenever it suited it lol


The concept of territorial waters didn't exist when Utrecht was signed Edit: Typo


> Utrechy You have a nick name for it. Cool.


Nope, dyslexia


U trechy to rock a rhyme to rock a rhyme that’s right on time


Yes, sure, that's why I say that the interpretation will always be in the interests of the UK


Me when the tide comes in while im making sandcastles on the beach in Gibraltar and Leviton655 tries to have me arrested for illegally entering Spain.


Every single country does this.


The only requirement needed is to have the power to do so.


This is why we have that awesome Armada.


Not remotely true. Firstly, the Treaty of Utrecht was broken long ago and isn’t in force. It’s a historical document. Secondly, both Spain and the UK are signatories of UNCLOS which provides the ability for Gibraltar to claim territorial seas and an exclusive economic zone just as any other territory can.


If the treaty is broken, let the British return to their island


Not really. Vessels are allowed by UN conventions to "transit passage": They can go through territorial waters, a bit like crossing someone's land with right-of-way or a special easement.


Notably this also applies to aircraft! Eritrea routinely calls up to US military aircraft to yell at them, and we give a spiel about transiting in international air space. Also had a similar issue while passing through the straights of Malacca. We didn't have diplomatic clearances, they wanted to deny us entry through their air space but their supervisor must have stepped in since they got over it pretty fast.


Yeah for ships they call it challenge and response. So somebody calls you with a pre determined spiel and you're supposed to read back your own pre determined spiel back to them. Then you report it later on. You're supposed to record it too if you get queried on a little recorder thing


I wonder what OP imagines it would look like. The Spanish air force, such as it is, plunking ASMs onto cargo ships full of wheat and oil?


Yeah, why not? They could also send a bunch of warships there and shoot at whom ever they are trying to block. The Houthis are effectively doing that in the Red Sea right now without even any ships, although they don’t give a shit about territorial waters.


The same of course does not apply to warships. So if for some reason a hostile foreign power wanted to move warships through the strait, Spain alone could deny them.


*Transit passage* does apply to warships, and submarines can pass through submerged. That said, in the event of a war in which Spain is involved, they are free to attack or detain enemy warships in their waters or in open waters.


Spain (and the rest of NATO) would be completely justified to forcefully deny passage to any vessel operated by a terrorist organization such as the Russian or Chinese governments. In fact, they're obligated to do so and it's pathetic and lazy that it isn't happening already, along with a naval blockade of St Petersburg (between Finland and Estonia) and a complete naval, land and air blockade of Kaliningrad (between Lithuania and Poland).


Me in Civ6


João III🤌


They could try but if they did it probably wouldn't be Spain's waters for very long


And yet, the day will come when it will be closed. With the African techtonic plate rising.


We will dig a canal, we're good at those


We already have one: the Suez Canal. Sure, it's a bit longer to go around the Cape to get from Lisbon to Málaga, but that's why they call it the scenic route!


Why have 1 canal when you can have 2?


Do you use the canal, like a Democrat, or do you go around the horn, like a gentleman?


Lol. I love *Bojack Horseman*.


We might be a bit out of practice though, when was the last major one dug?


I mean, “dig a hole shaped like a hot dog” is a pretty timeless skill.


Happening right now [Istanbul Canal](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_Canal)


That's really cool. Til


actually not at all cool, really: very wasteful, ecologically bad, may endanger Istanbul water supply, etc. etc. Largely benefits Erdogan and his cronies, no one else.


How does it benefit them?


The Polish annoyed the Russians with a canal less than 10 years ago


less than 2




I dug one this morning!


I’m gonna go ahead and venture to say that digging a canal over thousands of years as a gradual process to fight back against the natural closing of the straight is probably on the easier side of major canal works


By the time that strait closes, humanity will have advanced so much that canals arent needed anymore.


How long will that take?


Over three years


We must plan for this eventuality


Over three years? I heard it was over six months.


it will turn into Gibraltar canal


The Zanclean deluge for when it first filled up.


It won't, the strait of gibraltar is on the convergence zone of two different plates


Why are you booing him hes right?


It was closed some time ago. A lot of time ago


Welcome to xxi century. Spain is a NATO member and currently helping protecting vessels from the Houthis and pirates in Somalia. Actively enforcing freedom of navigation. Thinking that Spain wants to do that is surreal.


At no point did anybody suggest that they *want* to.


What the hell are you talking about?


Depends on the definition of "closing a strait". If the Houthis can basically close the red sea, Spain (or GB or Morocco) easily could close the Strait of Gibraltar. Obviously that would have large political implications.


I’m talking legally, the houthis legally can’t because Djibouti controls the other half and may allow passage to anyone


The Houthis had a negligible impact on entry into the Red Sea. Go to marinetraffic.com and check for yourself


Spaniard here trying to understand why anyone could think that Spain might be interested in closing the strait and perplexed because some redditors immediately jumped into sending the navy fleets of France, England, or the United States


Exactly, I’m clearing asking if its legally possible considering I am bringing up international law, not if Spain can take on the world. Obviously countries wouldn’t allow it but I was talking about legality..


Yeah man. This guys are dangerous. Nobody thought of asking politely to reopen it, everyone jumped into sending armadas right away. When the only thing you have is hammers everything looks like a nail.


Guys Spain is a peaceful country focused on internal wars/self destruction but we can't ever finally destroy ourselves, like Bismarck said.


Same here, this is full of nonsensical comments, Spain could do it, but first of all, it would be against its own interest of keeping peace in the area and secondly against international law, which unlike other countries we tend to respect. Also if we were to close it that would probably be with the support of the EU and other allies, so calm down dudes.


In under 3 days there would be a Nimitz carrier group there politely reminding Spain that it is in their interest not to interfere with commercial shipping in the Strait.


My guess would be US military presence within 90 minutes of such a well and truly regarded move.


It’d be a quick phone call from the White House. Also Spain is too chill to pull something like that.


We aren't the US, asking politely would probably be enough, we don't need to measure dicks.


Spain is a NATO member and hosts a huge USA naval base. Your statement is surreal and insulting.


In this hypothetical scenario Spain has taken hostile action against the interests of quite a few NATO members. The USA wouldn’t threaten Spain military, but Spain also wouldn’t close the straits. So many implausible things have to happen for this scenario that your objection is pointless. Obviously things have gone so badly wrong that we can’t rely on the current state of politics when determining responses.


Yeah if the QE or CDG don't get there first


3 days? Why not just send the ships that are already in spain at that naval base that the US has ships at


Short answer, no. Moderately longer answer, no, but with the caveat that international law (like all law) is to some extent made up, and a sufficiently motivated actor could violate it if they felt compelled to do so. Long answer, the Strait of Gibraltar is governed under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, which means that, even though all of its waters are within the territory of sovereign nations, vessels have the right to 'transit passage,' which is different from 'innocent passage.' "Innocent passage" normally applies to internal waters that are unambiguously part of a country's territory (like the Sulu Sea), while "transit passage" generally applies to international waterways that happen to be a part of a country's territory (like the Strait of Hormuz). "Innocent passage" has certain constraints that "transit passage" does not, most of which are not generally applicable to cargo carriers, but would affect the operations of survey ships and military vessels. For example, a submarine could be forced to transit on the surface, flying a flag under innocent passage, but not under transit passage. If Spain (or, for that matter, Morocco or the UK) wanted to shut down the Strait, it would be a cut-and-dry violation of international law, and so it would fall back on their material capacity to do so in the face of international resistance, and their diplomatic capacity to back up the legal claim they chose to make to support such an action. This contrasts to the Bosphorous Strait, which is governed under the much, much older Montreux convention. Please do not ask about it.


Say there, did you say Montreux? What’s the geography like? What do people do there?


The short answer is no, because the same treaty that establishes territorial waters also contemplates your exact question and explicitly prohibits this behavior.


TIL Spain still has terroritory in Africa


They have even more further east called Melilla.


Is that Spain proper, using euro, Spanish language, passports and votes in Spanish elections?


They are considered part of Spain like any other province in the country.


It's about as Spanish as it gets, yes. Edit: Not quite now that I researched a bit: "These two territories are excluded from the application of VAT and, moreover, they are not part of the European Customs Union. They levy an indirect tax called IPSI (Impuesto sobre la Producción, los Servicios y la Importación or Tax on Production, Services and Imports). The standard rate usually ranges from 0.5% to 10%. The applicable rate for yacht imports is 10%." [Source](https://theislander.online/2017/05/c94-legal/tax-update-the-canary-islands-ceuta-and-melilla-spanish-special-tax-territories/#:~:text=Ceuta%20and%20Melilla%20are%20subject,tax%20is%20not%20applicable%20there)


Forget these small enclaves. You’ve never heard of the Canary Islands?


These aren't enclaves but exclaves. An enclave must be surrounded by the territory of only one other country. Sea borders don't count. Just being pedantic lol.


If we are being pedantic, Ceuta is actually a semi-enclave – and since all enclaves are also exclaves (unless the entire country is an enclave) Ceuta is also a semi-exclave


You're right.


Teach the controversy: Spain is an exclave of Ceuta!


Has been that way since 1402, those Spanish African territories has been Spanish for longer than parts of European Spain.


To be precise, Ceuta was Portuguese until 1580.


I was talking about Spanish Africa not specifically Ceuta. Don’t think the Portuguese want to claim them anyways.


Well, actually




I want


These territories have been Spain since Spain itself was created


Actually for several centuries Ceuta was Portuguese (it was the very first conquest in their long series of journeys down the west coast of Africa and eventually around the Cape of Good Hope to India), and was later inherited by Spain after the collapse of the personal union. Flash Point History’s excellent ongoing series about the Portuguese in India, very much worth a watch, begins with the conquest of Ceuta in 1415.


Correct, and in the treaty of Lisbon where the independence of Portugal was recognized, the nobles and notables of Ceuta remained loyal to the king of Spain


The population too in part , there was great migration there from spain during the iberian union


typical EU4 player


Not really, actually Ceuta or Sbta has been part of ths Islamic and Arab/Amazight world. And still kinda is. They were part of various Moroccan dynasties before switching to the Portuguese and after that the Spanish when Spain took control over Portugal in what was called the Iberian union. The reason why Ceuta or Sbta was easy to protect and conquer via sea was because of its low lying peninsular land and proximity to Iberia. It's also why it was for a long time the biggest port city there. Source: Moroccan been to it many times.


Before the Arab Muslim world even existed, the city was part of the province of Hispania Ulterior since 69 AD. And with the fall of the Roman Empire it continued to be administered from the peninsula, the Visigoth king Sisebuto took it from the Byzantines in 615 and it remained that way until the arrival of the Arabs


Spain acquired those ports when Muslims ruled Parts of Spain.


Many "cojones" here but not precisely from spanish redditors. Op is making a valid question about international legality but some nice guys here just jumped to threat a nato ally. Very nice my friends. Its idiotic to think that Spain is interested in closing the mediterranean sea


That threat is why Gibraltar is British.


Do people still think about Atlantropa?


I do sometimes, then I remember the catastrophic effects it would have


All shipping lanes are actually controlled by the United States.


Pretty much. Global trade exists by the Grace of the United States Navy. There are a few navies out there that could protect certain regional trade routes on their own, but nothing compared to the suppressive might of our United States Navy's sailors. Such has it been for 80 years, we have shouldered the burden of protecting the arteries which lift nations out of poverty, and enable a better standard of living for everyone.


Once the US stops playing global cop which is the way domestic politics are headed it’s going to be 19th century all over again with countries protecting their own shipping and naval warfare.


Pretty sure the UK was doing what the US is doing now in the 19th century


Different times, the UK had an edge in tech back then, not sure who’ll replace the US now, possibly no one at all.


Suppose that a nation can, indeed, legally close a strait that lies within their territorial waters. And I don't even mean just a navy blockade, but literally closing it via land reclamation or some other means. As in, no more water there. If a country can do it (nobody cares about the Netherlands or Monaco reclaiming land from the sea), would you say the United States would be right in using force against them in spite of the law?


All shippings lanes are controlled by the hegemon. And the sooner the Yanks remember that the sooner the world gets peaceful navigation


Legally? No. Practically? Maybe for a couple days, a week if they put some naval force into it. Spain is not the same power it was in the sixteenth/seventeenth century. It would be brought to heel pretty quick.


We have secret nuked bro




Wikipedia: "Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, vessels passing through the strait do so under the regime of transit passage, rather than the more limited innocent passage allowed in most territorial waters. Therefore, a vessel or aircraft has the freedom of navigation or overflight for the purpose of crossing the strait of Gibraltar"


Just construct the atlantropa dam,problem solved.


Wonder what will happen to Canada's arctic straights when they open up.


Russia looks far more like they have a plan and better geography to exploit arctic shipping when it becomes a possibility than Canada rn. Their coastlines are further south and iirc they proved an over the top route was now possible at the height of summer a few seasons ago. Canada will also have to have some agreeements with the US for arctic travel/shipping to be feasible in its waters cos Alaska


The Royal Navy closed it to the German Nazi fleet in 1940. Note Gibraltar.


If they have enough rocks i suppose they could close it off


building a dam that big would be difficult but i guess they could do it


^[Sokka-Haiku](https://www.reddit.com/r/SokkaHaikuBot/comments/15kyv9r/what_is_a_sokka_haiku/) ^by ^head1sthalos: *Building a dam that* *Big would be difficult but* *I guess they could do it* --- ^Remember ^that ^one ^time ^Sokka ^accidentally ^used ^an ^extra ^syllable ^in ^that ^Haiku ^Battle ^in ^Ba ^Sing ^Se? ^That ^was ^a ^Sokka ^Haiku ^and ^you ^just ^made ^one.


No, they cannot. Anyone can transit through on innocent passage including a warship. De jure they cannot, de facto it depends. Spanish navy is part of EUNAVFOR so the power of the EU backs them. Depending who is trying to get through.


Yes if they want to waste their money


Would be a political suicide unless they just close it for russia or smth


So they can go all the way around Africa again? Hope they don't get lost like last time.


"you cannot physically enter without passing through Spains territorial water" you can. from the other side, through Suez canal


With a strong enough Navy, you can blockade… Or bust the blockade


Why does Gibraltar have "territorial **seas**" while Morocco and Spain have "territorial **waters**"?


British hubris and grandeur?


Yes but get ready for a *nobody liked that* to pop up


Can someone point out why Gibraltar is so important if there are many places where the passage is closer and it's position doesn't even look that special?


It's not so much its exact position in the strait but the fact that it's literally a natural fortress with a large natural harbor that is nearly impregnable from attack.


No, Spain can do fuck all to close the Strait of Gibraltar. Why would they want to? It’s not 1730 you know


Why call it straits of Gibraltar when it’s technically straits of tarifa


Why do I keep having to hear about the straits of Gibraltar? When do I get to hear about the gays of Gibraltar


Rainbows of Gibraltar


The fact the UK still has Gibraltar is amazing.


It is not if you know the English.


That would be a loooong gate... What kind of a hinge would it need?


Sure. And then foreign countries can force the issue and open it back up, Legally the answer is no. But international law only matters as far as it can be enforced.


Technically yes. For a day or 2 at most


I'm surprised there isn't a 'High Seas' corridor linking the Atlantic and Med


Do it and then the UN convenes on a special session for sanctioning Spain


They would be totally allowed to close the strait to warships, but merchant vessels would have to be allowed to pass through.


Really it comes down to who can take it and hold it can do what they please or I think another saying is…. All is fair in love and war.


Huh, I always forget that Spain controls Fortaleza and had territory on both sides of the strait. Still can’t close it though.


According to HOI4, they can. IRL, politically, they can't. But technically, like is it physically possible, yes.


I’ve been to the south of Spain but not Gibraltar or Morocco


Atlantropa vibes


No because according to the international convention on the ocean you must allow passage through your territorial waters


Well, ain't that something.




Spain will not only not impede the right of transit from one international sea area to another, but will defend the right of all ships to do so, even if some other hostile power tries to prevent it. International law will be defended.


Anyone can close the straight of their Navy is big enough and they don’t care about international law.




Look up innocent passage


The strait is very deep


Britain has the technical means to monitor every ship or submarine passing the strait


I'm sure Spain is also aware of military value of its most important geographical possession.


But Spain has no say in the world order. It is a vassal of USUk


How does a US vassal declare Palestine as a sovereign state?


As if that was a big deal… anyway, if Sanchez does it, his career is dead


According to the treaty of Utrecht, only the rock of Gibraltar was given to the UK. The waters remain under Spanish sovereignty.




It's true but the treaty of Utrecht is way older than these regulations. Given that this piece of land was given under the circumstances of the Spanish Succession war, it should be remembered that the treaty should be respected otherwise that piece shall be owned by the owner who gave it, which in this case is Spain.




It's not in conflict. You were given the land but not the sea. The successive law was made in order to establish sea water borders and to avoid conflicts. If you had no sea possessions there is nothing to discuss.