UPDATE 24/06/2016: Spain’s Foreign Minister has repeated his call to re-open the discussion over Gibraltar. In a radio interview following Britain’s vote to leave the EU, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said it was time to discuss join-sovereignty with the UK, saying: “I hope the formula of co-sovereignty – to be clear, the Spanish flag on the Rock – is much closer than before”.

The population of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU, with 95.9% opting for Remain.

ORIGINAL 22/06/2016: In two days, Britain could be heading for the exit. Polling in the UK’s upcoming EU referendum indicates that the two sides are neck-and-neck (though polls have been wrong before). Both sides are waving flags and appealing to patriotism, but what would a more muscular sense of nationalism mean in the event that Britons opt to Leave?

Remain campaigners argue that when you start redrawing borders, it can be difficult to stop. Enda Kenny, the Irish taoiseach (head government) has argued that Brexit could re-open political tensions in Northern Ireland, presenting “an opportunity for others with malign agendas to exploit”. Scottish nationalists hope that a vote to Leave would lead to renewed calls for Scottish independence.

Have you already made your mind up which way to vote? Do YOU think Britain should leave the European Union? Let us know what you think in the poll below:

One such dispute is between Spain and the UK over the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. We had a comment sent in by Jorge, who argued that the fact both the UK and Spain belonged to the EU had, ultimately, helped to ease tensions over Gibraltar. Is he right? And, if so, what would be the impact of Brexit on Gibraltar?

To get a response, we approached Spanish politicians and representatives of the Spanish government, but nobody was willing to comment in time for publication. However, Spain’s Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, recently commented on this issue in an interview on Spain’s Radio Nacional. Asked about the impact of Brexit, he said:

Garcia_MargalloIt’s true that [Brexit would give] us an opportunity to have an even more important role than the one we already have with the United States, and don’t forget about one other thing: we’ll be talking about Gibraltar the very next day.

For another perspective, we also spoke to Dr. Joseph Garcia, Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar. Would would he respond to Jorge?

We also had a comment from Odtaa, who suggested that the European Commission could have done more to mediate the dispute between Spain and Britain. How would Dr. Joseph Garcia respond? Did he think the Commission has done a good job managing tensions?

What would be the impact of Brexit on Gibraltar? Would leaving the EU open up a string of old nationalist disputes? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Vlasta Juricek

48 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Stefania Portici

    io penso che non solo l’Inghilterra dovrebbe lasciare la UE ma ogni Paese dovrebbe andarsene ma perchè chiedere un parere sul referendum quando si sa già che cosi non sara ? Essere presi in giro fingendo che il cittadino sta ” scegliendo ” ( brutta parola la parola scegliere , sarebbe meglio la parola “vuole” ma cosi è ) ci ha stancati

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Andrej Němec
      Ah, so you are not a fan of democracy then?
      Where do you hail from again?

    • Hahahaha

      Tarquin. If I take over your attic by force. Then fill you attic with Mexicans. Then ask the Mexicans if they would like to raise the Tarquin flag or the Mexican flag over your house….

      And they vote for the Mexican flag

      Is this democracy

      Or are you an idiot

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      Please, say NO to drugs!

  2. Ivan Burrows


    It will be defended with force if required until such time the people of Gibraltar wish otherwise.

    Vote Leave.

    • Redwing

      Defend with force what’s yours! You had the chance to be part of the big European family, so everybody would see your abuses in a poetic way, as a part of a romantic history. You proved to be the weak link, but at least, once again you will be pleased that the continent is isolated again. I personaly was a defender of the idea of Gibraltar, but now I see that you don’t deserve it anymore, so let’s give Peñon to their rightful owners. (Just like Hong Kong)

    • Hahahaha

      And who is it you are prepared to fight against Ivan.

      England is a small insignificant island with no friends. It just financially and politically pissed off the world.

  3. James McManama

    Blimey, Ivan Burrows! Wait until the referendum is over before you start threatening military action against one of our closest allies. Is this what we have to look forward to outside the EU?

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @James McManama
      Spain is not that close an ally – try the “5-eyes” first!

    • Dodgy Geezer

      … I personaly was a defender of the idea of Gibraltar, but now I see that you don’t deserve it anymore, so let’s give Peñon to their rightful owners….

      Tell that to the Marines! They took it, and if you want to take it back you’ll have to take it off them…

  4. EU reform- proactive

    Being a baboon in Gibraltar & not in Africa must be quite tough- or?
    One wonders when their time is up? To comply with EU treaties and forever lose their natural but rocky habitat, must be traumatic! Are there any similarities with Brexit & the EU? Hierarchies after hierarchy- but which one? It’s the last stand- even for the baboons!

  5. Barry Kent

    Who would elect to continue in an organisation which presides over an amount of fraud so breathtaking that it equates to the EU annual budget other than those who condone it?

  6. Paul X

    Why should Spain think that Brexit has any impact on the population of Gibraltar’s desire to remain under British administration?

    Spain acted like a petulant child towards Gibraltar before it joined the EU and will probably go back to doing so if the UK leaves, but it didn’t get it’s own way back then and it won’t now.

    Gibraltar has been British over 240 years, four times longer than the EU has been in existence and the EU really should accept that it is too immature to deal with such grown up issues

    • Barry Kent

      She might bitch and scratch but Spain has too much to lose by any major action against Gibraltar and with her economy in the state it is they simply won’t risk it.

  7. Tarquin Farquhar

    Spain is great when it comes to food, the visual arts, football and so on and so forth, but why would anyone from Gibraltar want to cede control to a country with a history of dictatorship, a poor track record in respect of ‘rule of law’, high levels of corruption and too would be substantially financially poorer without EU and UK coffers throwing money into Spain’s begging bowl?

    • Hahahaha

      You sound like you are describing the UK.

      GIBRALTAR wants to remain in the EU by a 90% majority.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      Clearly historic facts and rectitude are not your forte.

  8. José Bessa da Silva

    Gibraltar will remain within the UK and it’s team will keep being very welcome Faro stadium, in Portugal, as their home.

  9. Kevin

    Really depends on whether the Spanish keep the border sensible . Any hanky panky and I’ll cancel the golf trip to Marbella and have a week on the rock

    • Lars Jorgensen

      Britain, the most imperalistic, chauvenistic wannabe super power in Europa. What good comes from there? Nothing but megalonia, self overestimating country which is behind and jumping after proper countries just in order to promote itself as being a leading nation in culture and technology and art. All you have is stolen from others. Why on earth should the Malvinas belong to you? Or Gibraltar? Cyprus got rid of you decades ago, but they still hate you for having colonised them. If you must, then leave the union, but don’t come crawling back, when you have difficulties with interacting with the rest of Europa, which will be “abroad” suddenly

    • Paul X

      “Why on earth should the Malvinas belong to you?”

      Because Britons were occupying the Falklands in the 1760’s before Argentina was even a country

    • Merkurio

      “occupying”. Exactly. Why the hell would you occupy someone else’s land on the other side of the world? That costed blood and keeps costing millions? Lunacy to say the least. Funny how you feel so strongly about EU imperialism but not your own. Typical of far righters playing democrats.

    • Paul X

      So exactly who is the “someone else” whose land you think it is considering it was totally unoccupied when it was discovered by the British?

    • Hahahaha

      The point is Paul. You don’t ‘discover’ land and claim it as your own. The USA taught you that lesson. You just chose to ignore it while you raped and pillaged a third of the world.

      They didn’t forget. The ‘commonwealth’ hates you and your imperialist Reich.

    • Paul X

      Actually, that’s exactly what you do. There is a big difference between invading a country with a indigenous population and discovering & claiming ownership of an uninhabited island

    • Duncan

      @Hahahaha what exactly are you saying about Americans teaching people not to take lands and claim them as your own? I think Apache, Comanche, Cherokee and several other former nations would differ on the teachings of America on that subject! As to the original question of the thread, I think it’s very obvious that there was regional divisions within the UK with regard exit or remain. But since it wasn’t asked of these regions exit, remain or exit UK in order to remain i think it’s very presumptuous of everyone to think a regional majority to remain should equate to an automatic decision they are out of the UK. No doubt Gibraltar will be asked their views at some point. Since the brexit referendum took decades though, i can’t see it being particularly soon.

  10. catherine benning

    I think the gist has been missed here. Gibraltar is another British Ta Haven, a bit like Monaco for the French, or, say the Virgin Islands, or the Cayman Islands. It is a place where our ‘Elite’ Margaret Thatchers on, keep their assets in order to avoid paying taxes.

    Of course, as with all these little joy sticks, they try to pretend they are not. But, they are and most people who have the insider knowledge, know it.

    So, the British will hang onto to it like a dog to a bone. They love it.

    • Paul X

      Actually Catherine the reason to keep Gibraltar is for its military importance, it’s position at the mouth of the Med makes it one of the most strategically important of all UK overseas territories

      It may well be used by some to evade tax but if I was lucky enough to require a tax haven I would certainly pick somewhere a bit more exotic

    • Hahahaha

      Yes paul, Isis is rowing it’s way to you right now past the straits. Better hang on to that strategic rock so you can spot them coming to blow your imperialist bits off.

    • Paul X

      Actually Isis have no need to row past Gibraltar, they just land anywhere in southern Europe and buy themselves a first class train ticket to any City they fancy thanks to the idiotic free movement policy
      I suggest you cross that one off your list about the UK being less secure outside the EU, that’s a physical impossibility

  11. Tarquin Farquhar

    @Lars Jorgensen
    “Psych-evaluation” report – pronto!

    • catherine benning

      @ Paul X

      Baboons don’t do it for you then. Mmm? LOL

      Mark Thatcher chose Gibraltar because, for some reason never got to the bottom of, he was not wanted in Switzerland or the Cayman, at that time. He had to beg those in the Rock to take him in. Something to do with his African exploits. Hurriedly covered up and dropped like a hotcake by our media.

    • Paul X

      lol, Barbary apes actually Catherine, but yes, definitely to be avoided. Based on my personal experiences of Gib is it is a nice place to visit with some very interesting historical sites to explore , but if I won the lottery tomorrow I’d be looking more to Monaco

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @René Aga

      Spain is bankrupt and unable to maintain a democratic milieu without external help.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @René Aga

      Spain is bankrupt and unable to maintain a democratic milieu without external help.

  12. Yasmine

    Well, the same as on Northern Ireland only a bit worse. It will find itself isolated geographically and having to buy visas just to drive up the road… The locals might decide that they want to join Spain or, since they would struggle with this culturally, they might just relocate to Great Britain. It’s what I would do. Perhaps a small percentage might just move to Spain, but it is a very multicultural place and I think that Spain is not very tolerant to this.

    • Hahahaha

      Racism is tolerated on here is it

  13. Yasmine

    So here is the result. 95% of Gibraltarians voted to stay in EU, as you would expect, and are now negotiating with Scotland how they can stay in, while England and Wales come out. The democracy of Brexit does not seem to take into consideration the needs of the UK as a whole and is an attempt to impose an isolationist environment that is just not viable in this day and age of international cooperation and constant travel.

  14. David Edward

    If that European invective is typical of Europe no wonder the Brits want to leave.I would think Spain should be concentrating on keeping the Basque country and the Catalans in Spain rather than worry about Gibraltar. I am not sure where Lars comes from I would imagine Scandinavia and of course they were so well known for their pacifist visits to Britain in earlier times or wasn’t that raping, murdering and pillaging to be more precise. It wasn’t that long ago when you were overjoyed to have those nasty imperialistic chauvinistic Brits land at the beaches in Normandy.

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