With Britain, One More Country Will Leave The EU
Gibraltar will withdraw from the EU together with Britain, the chief negotiator of the European Commission for Brexit, Michel Barnier.
When Brexit becomes a reality, the European Union will lose two members at once: Britain and Gibraltar, a member of the European Union that is part of its overseas territory. This decision is final, Michel Barnier said in Brussels. All disputable issues will be discussed in the future bilaterally by London and Madrid, which has never recognized the legality of this British enclave on its territory.
The British took away Spain Gibraltar in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht as a result of the War of the Spanish Succession. Since then, the Spaniards have repeatedly tried to return this patch of their land, which, after the opening of the Suez Canal in the middle of the 19th century, has grown very much in value. They expected to seize this port and fortified city in 1727 during the Anglo-Spanish War, half a century later - during the Spanish-French "great siege". And all is in vain. But the British in 1938, taking advantage of the civil war in Spain, increased the boundaries of its territory in the south of the Pyrenees.
Verdict by Michel Barnier
Gibraltar will leave the European Union at the same time as Great Britain, this can not be questioned, "- said Barnier following the results of the next round of negotiations with the British Minister for Brexit David Davis. After that, Spain will receive full support from the European Union in order to finalize the bipartisan agreement with Britain on the remaining unsettled issues of the administration of this territory, he added.
Britain and Gibraltar will leave the EU on March 30, 2019. From that time, a 21-month transition period will begin, during which, according to Barnier, "Great Britain will be able to enjoy all the rights of an EU member, remaining a member of the single market, but will not be able to take part in the decision-making process in the European Union."
It is assumed that during this period it will be possible to practically resolve all remaining problems related to Brexit. And in Brussels, as we can see, they will fully support in this part of the "divorce proceedings" with Britain the remaining Spain in the EU, for which Gibraltar is the same as for the Argentina Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
The point is that all treaties that exist between the EU and Britain can not be applied to Gibraltar without the agreement of the United Kingdom with Spain, which thus gets the right to block this territory from access to any trade agreements with the EU. Such a tremendous opportunity and all-European support in the conduct of business with Gibraltar and the English behind it, the Spaniards have never been, and they certainly will take this opportunity.
On such a dramatic note, the EU membership ends for Gibraltar. But the vast majority of the inhabitants of this mini-state do not want to leave. Why? Because Britain is far away, and Spain is very close, right behind the outskirts, and this will create a lot of inconvenience for all.
Nevertheless, in December 2020 for the inhabitants of the Rock will begin a new life. But Brussels will be satisfied. The only offshore center in the EU and the "tax haven" will cease to exist. Yes, the Gibraltarians, almost 96% of whom voted against in the referendum on Britain's withdrawal from the EU, will have to give up the very high standard of living that is provided, above all, by trade and the banking sector. After Brexit, Spain will have the right to introduce border controls. This means that Gibraltarians to get into the EU, and foreign tourists to visit, will need visas.
The smallest member of the EU
Gibraltar is officially considered one of the 14 overseas territories of Britain, but in fact this is a real small state. The number of the permanent population of the Rock is very small - just over 33 thousand people. Since the 60-ies of the twentieth century in Gibraltar, the constitution is periodically updated and referenda are held. There is a parliament that shares the legislative power with Queen Elizabeth II, and the government, full internal self-government operates, the airport operates. Gibraltar has a separate jurisdiction from the United Kingdom and a tax system that is conducive to the creation of offshore companies.
Not surprisingly, the financial sector provides it with more than 20% of revenue. A lot of money is left in Gibraltar by tourists, shipping also brings great profits. Since 2004, the inhabitants of Gibraltar can participate in the elections to the European Parliament, since they were sitting on two chairs with great profit, being simultaneously citizens of the United Kingdom and EU.
Now this "special status" is in the past. Brussels and Berlin in concern about the taxes, have long been sharpening their teeth on the financial black holes in Europe like Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Andorra and Monaco, and they will be only happy if they get rid atleast of one.
Now Britain is a small state that is economically and militarily weaker than it was in 1982 during the Falklands War. Therefore, Spain will have the right to do with Gibraltar whatever it wants.