As Brexit draws closer Gibraltar’s shared border with Spain is under scrutiny. Despite the iconic ‘Rock’ being world renowned, Gibraltar’s history and culture is little understood beyond the peninsula itself.
Gibraltarians are proudly British, the results from two referendums (1967 and 2001) both coming in at over 90% in favour of remaining British. This national pride is often lazily portrayed in the media as ‘brits abroad’ whereas in fact the reality is far more complicated.
The Rock’s strategic location as the British Empire’s access point to the Mediterranean has insured that since gaining it in 1713, Gibraltar and its naval facilities have played a key role in most of the UK’s international conflicts.
As the Empire crumbled post WW2 and the UN pushed for decolonisation, Gibraltar remained. This does not make it a relic; despite its isolated location it shares similar ideals to the modern UK, as a multi-cultural and diverse nation that has always welcomed others regardless of faith or race.
As the uncertainty of Brexit looms Gibraltar stands in a unique position, physically connected to mainland Europe and with a population that voted Remain by 96% it will soon be facing the consequences of a result it never wanted.