Joined: EU 1973 Eurozone Opted Out Schengen Not Yet Gibraltar is a small piece of land on and around the Rock of Gibraltar, which has for centuries been an important maritime location as it stands at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. It came into British possession under the Treaty of Utrecht as part of the British and Dutch support for the Spanish against Napoleonic France in the Peninsular War. The status of Gibraltar within the European Union is tied to the United Kingdom in that it joined in 1973 under the terms of the Treaty of Rome that a territory was considered part of the European Union if its external relations were handled by an European Union member. That is the nub of the problem for Gibraltar after it voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, but the United Kingdom voted to leave. Gibraltarís membership requires the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union. It could accept joint sovereignty with Spain, but while the United Kingdom has countenanced that in the past, Gibraltarians continue to reject that option. Gibraltar cannot gain full independence as the Treaty of Utrecht entails that if the United Kingdom relinquishes sovereignty it reverts to Spain.

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