Gibraltar (/dʒɪˈbrɔːltər/ ji-BRAWL-tər, /dʒᵻˈbrɒltər/ jə-BROL-tər or other permutations; Spanish pronunciation: [xiβɾalˈtaɾ]) is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and shares its northern border with Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities.
An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne. The territory was subsequently ceded to Great Britain “in perpetuity” under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, which is only eight miles (13 km) wide at this naval “choke point” and remains strategically important to this day with half the world’s seaborne trade passing through the strait. Today Gibraltar’s economy is based largely on tourism, online gambling, financial services, and shipping.
The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians overwhelmingly rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and again in 2002. Under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the British government.
The EU has effectively handed Spain a veto over the future of Gibraltar in its Brexit negotiating guidelines.
The negotiating principles from the European Council stipulate that any future trade deal between the EU and the UK will not apply to the British territory – unless it is agreed by Spain.