Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Friday, June 24, 2016

SPAIN INCREASES ITS DEMAND FOR JOINT SOVEREIGNTY IN GIBRALTAR



In the aftermath of the landmark British vote to leave the European Union, the Government of Spain has ramped up its call for joint British-Spanish sovereignty over the Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. Though Gibraltar has been British since 1713, in a negotiated postwar exchange of territories that the Spanish Government seems to have forgotten about, Spain has persistently claimed that the Rock should revert to Spanish sovereignty, alleging that it is a vestige of colonialism.

Many observers have correctly pointed out that Spain has retained several territories in Morocco, and that its claims upon Gibraltar, whose citizens have steadfastly voted to remain British, are inconsistent with its own national policies. 95% of Gibraltarians who voted opted for the UK to remain within the EU.

The issue for the global financial community is what Spanish dominion, even if joint with the UK, will do to Gibraltar as an offshore financial center; Spain's economy, specifically its out-of-control unemployment rates for young workers, might result in the imposition of taxes in Gibraltar that could radically change its status as a tax haven. While the UK has consistently opposed any Spanish control over Gibraltar, and we trust that this support will continue, the UK exit from the EU may have unforeseen consequences for Gibraltar.



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