Despite it being situated in Europe on the south coast of Spain, Gibraltar has officially been ruled by Britain since 1713 under the terms of the ‘Treaty of Utrecht’ and thus it is referred to as British overseas territory.
With more than 32,373 citizens of mixed nationality, Gibraltar’s income comes mainly from customs duties, offshore finance, internet gaming, tourism and the shipment of goods. Although only small in size, Gibraltar is home to a British military garrison and naval base which was built more than 1,000 years ago, making it quite an important place.
So, why is everyone talking about it?
Now that the process has officially begun for the UK to leave the EU, leaders need to decide how it will cooperate with other EU countries in the future with regards to matters such as trade and immigration.
As an official part of Britain, Gibraltar will undoubtably be affected by the upcoming Brexit (the popular term coined for Britain leaving the EU). However, as it shares its border with Spain there is a long and withstanding argument between the former and the UK over who it belongs to, this is also referred to as ‘sovereignty’. The upcoming Brexit could potentially cause problems in Gibraltar’s relationship with not only Spain but other EU countries too, thus its being hitting the headlines lately.
So what will happen?
As of yet, no-one knows what will happen.
The EU has openly stated that the Spanish government will be consulted about any decisions regarding Brexit and Gibraltar, much to the outrage of the UK government who do not believe that Spain should have any say in what happens to Gibraltar. The UK government have however said that it will do everything within its power to protect Gibraltar and ensure that it gets the best possible outcome from Brexit, so for now all we can do is sit tight and wait to see what the outcome will be!