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Gibraltar's Political Status

Gibraltar Tourist Information

Gibraltar's self-determination is a complex and contentious issue that revolves around the question of the territory's political status and its right to choose its own future. Here's an overview of the concept of self-determination in the context of Gibraltar:

  1. Historical Background: Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has been under British control since 1704 when it was captured during the War of the Spanish Succession. Spain has consistently claimed sovereignty over Gibraltar and has sought its return.

  2. The People of Gibraltar: The people of Gibraltar, known as Gibraltarians, have a distinct cultural identity and a long history of British influence. They have expressed their desire to determine their own political future through a process of self-determination.

  3. United Nations Resolution: The issue of Gibraltar's sovereignty and self-determination has been raised at the United Nations (UN). In 1963, the UN passed a resolution that called for the decolonization of Gibraltar and recognized the right of its people to self-determination. This resolution has been reaffirmed numerous times.

  4. Tripartite Forum: In the early 21st century, the governments of Gibraltar, the United Kingdom, and Spain engaged in a diplomatic initiative known as the "Tripartite Forum." The aim was to address various issues, including those related to sovereignty and cooperation in the region. While the forum made progress in some areas, it did not lead to a resolution of the sovereignty dispute.

  5. Referendum: Gibraltarians have held two referendums on the issue of sovereignty and self-determination. The first was in 1967, in which Gibraltarians overwhelmingly voted in favor of remaining under British sovereignty. The second referendum took place in 2002, with a similarly strong vote in favor of British sovereignty.

  6. Brexit Implications: The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union (Brexit) raised concerns about Gibraltar's future relationship with the EU. Gibraltar overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 Brexit referendum, and negotiations have since taken place to ensure continued access to the EU's single market.

  7. Ongoing Dispute: Despite the desire of Gibraltarians for self-determination and their preference to remain British, Spain continues to assert its sovereignty claim over Gibraltar. Diplomatic tensions occasionally arise between the UK and Spain on this issue.

It's important to note that developments in international relations and diplomacy can change, and the situation regarding Gibraltar's self-determination may evolve in the future. Gibraltar's people and their right to determine their own political future are at the heart of this ongoing debate.