Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory situated at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, strategically positioned at the western end of the Mediterranean. Gibraltar shares a land border with Spain to the north. 14 kilometres (9 miles) to the south is Morocco, on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar, one of the world’s most important shipping lanes.
Gibraltar has a Westminster-style Parliament and is responsible for its own internal affairs whilst foreign affairs and defence remain the responsibility of the UK Government (represented in Gibraltar by the Governor, Lt Gen Edward Davis). Elections are held every four years.
The Chief Minister is Fabian Picardo QC, leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party. The Deputy Chief Minister is Dr Joseph Garcia, leader of the Gibraltar Liberal Party. Together, they lead a coalition GSLP/Liberal government.
1967 – First sovereignty referendum. In a 95.8% poll attendance, 99.2% of voters opted to remain British. This day is now commemorated on 10th September each year, Gibraltar’s National Day.
2002 – Second sovereignty referendum. Gibraltarians reject joint UK-Spanish sovereignty by 98.9%. Voter turnout was 87.9%.
Gibraltar actively defends its right to self-determination. Every year, delegates from the Government of Gibraltar and the Self Determination Group for Gibraltar make representations to the United Nations 4th Committee and the Committee of 24.
Departure from the European Union
In the 2016 referendum, Gibraltar asserted its right to have its votes counted alongside the rest of the United Kingdom. Gibraltarians voted 95.9% to Remain in the European Union, on a voter turnout of 83.6%.
Gibraltar will leave the European Union with the rest of the United Kingdom. The Government of Gibraltar has been fully involved at every relevant stage of the negotiation and withdrawal process.
The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia has ministerial responsibility for matters concerning Gibraltar’s exit from the European Union.
Language: English is the official language. Many people also speak Spanish. Llanito is recognised as a specifically Gibraltarian dialect, and can be considered as an amalgamation of English and Spanish laced with words from other languages such as medieval Genoese, Hebrew, Maltese and Portuguese.
Currency: Gibraltar Pound (tied to the Pound Sterling)
GDP: £2347 million
Population: 32,000 registered Gibraltarians. Working population is 29,995, half of which crosses the border daily. 9,726 of the 15,275 daily commuters are Spanish.
Economic Pillars: The main pillars of the economy are financial services, maritime services, e-gaming and tourism. Gibraltar does not take development aid from the United Kingdom.
British Gibraltar Territorial Waters: Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, BGTW extends three nautical miles to the south, east and south west, and as far as the median line of the Bay of Gibraltar.