LONDON, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Britain is considering taking legal action against Spain over the lengthy checks by Spanish officials at the border with the contested territory of Gibraltar, Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said on Monday.
"We are now considering what legal action is open to us," the spokesman said, after the Spanish government's failure to lift the additional controls over the weekend.
It would be "an unprecedented step," he added.
Also on Monday, a Royal Navy taskforce with three warships has set sail for the Mediterranean on a routine deployment as the defense ministry described. According to media reports, one of the ships is expected to dock in Gibraltar later this week and the Spanish media saw the move as an act of intimidation.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday said Madrid would take "all necessary legal measures" to resolve the recent disputes over the British territory of Gibraltar.
Rajoy said he hoped talks would resolve the issue.
Spain ceded sovereignty of Gibraltar to Britain in 1713, but has persistently sought to regain the tiny southern territory.
The latest dispute came after Gibraltar authorities dropped 70 blocks of concrete in the Bay of Algeciras with the aim of creating an artificial reef, which Spain says is hurting its fishermen.
Spanish police and civil guards have since stepped up what the British side called disproportionate border controls, causing delays of three-four hours for those crossing from Spain into Gibraltar and from Gibraltar into Spain.
Madrid argued the controls were needed to prevent the flow of contraband from Gibraltar into Spain.
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