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Strategically important, Gibraltar was reluctantly ceded to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In a referendum held in 1967, Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency. The subsequent granting of autonomy in 1969 by the UK led to Spain closing the border and severing all communication links. Between 1997 and 2002, the UK and Spain held a series of talks on establishing temporary joint sovereignty over Gibraltar. In response to these talks, the Gibraltar Government called a referendum in late 2002 in which the majority of citizens voted overwhelmingly against any sharing of sovereignty with Spain. Since late 2004, Spain, the UK, and Gibraltar have held tripartite talks with the aim of cooperatively resolving problems that affect the local population, and work continues on cooperation agreements in areas such as taxation and financial services; communications and maritime security; policy, legal and customs services; environmental protection; and education and visa services. Throughout 2009, a dispute over Gibraltar's claim to territorial waters extending out three miles gave rise to periodic non-violent maritime confrontations between Spanish and UK naval patrols. A new noncolonial constitution came into effect in 2007, and the European Court of First Instance recognized Gibraltar's right to regulate its own tax regime in December 2008. The UK retains responsibility for defense, foreign relations, internal security, and financial stability.


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Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form Gibraltar

Dependency status
Overseas territory of the UK

Government type

Name Gibraltar
Geographic coordinates 36 08 N, 5 21 W
Time difference
UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
None (overseas territory of the UK)

None (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday
National Day, 10 September (1967); note - day of the national referendum to decide whether to remain with the UK or join Spain

5 June 2006; came into force 2 January 2007

Legal system
The laws of the UK, where applicable, apply

18 years of age; universal; and British citizens who have been residents six months or more

Executive branch
Chief of state
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Vice Admiral Sir Adrian JOHNS (since 26 October 2009)
Head of government
Chief Minister Fabian PICARDO (since 9 December 2011)
Council of Ministers appointed from among the 17 elected members of the Parliament by the governor in consultation with the chief minister
The monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed chief minister by the governor

Legislative branch
Unicameral Parliament (18 seats: 17 members elected by popular vote, 1 for the speaker appointed by Parliament; members serve four-year terms)
Last held on 8 December 2011 (next to be held not later than 8 December 2015)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - GSD 48%, GSLP 46.8%, Progressive Democratic Party 4.4%; seats by party - GSD 10, GSLP 7

Judicial branch
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders
Gibraltar Liberal Party [Joseph GARCIA]; Gibraltar Social Democrats or GSD [Fabian PICARDO]; Gibraltar Socialist Labor Party or GSLP [Joseph John BOSSANO]; Progressive Democratic Party

Political pressure groups and leaders
Chamber of Commerce; Gibraltar Representatives Organization; Women's Association

International organization participation
Interpol (subbureau), UPU

Diplomatic representation in the us
None (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the us
None (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description
Two horizontal bands of white (top, double width) and red with a three-towered red castle in the center of the white band; hanging from the castle gate is a gold key centered in the red band; the design is that of Gibraltar's coat of arms granted on 10 July 1502 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain; the castle symbolizes Gibraltar as a fortress, while the key represents Gibraltar's strategic importance - the key to the Mediterranean

National symbol(s)
Barbary macaque

National anthem
Name "Gibraltar Anthem"
Lyrics/music Peter EMBERLEY
Adopted 1994; serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" remains official (see United Kingdom)


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Gibraltar [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Gibraltar [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory)

square Flagstaff Steps Gibraltar (general)

square Sandy Bay Gibraltar (general)

square Ordnance Wharf Gibraltar (general)

square Gibraltar Gibraltar (general)

square Wellington Front Gibraltar (general)

square Ragged Staff Landing Gibraltar (general)

square Dock Number Four Gibraltar (general)

square Both Worlds Chalets Gibraltar (general)

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