On the 23rd June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union at the United Kingdom European Union Membership Referendum 2016. The referendum also held locally in Gibraltar rendered a very different result with 96% of the Gibraltarian population voting in favour of retaining membership of the European Union. Nonetheless, on the 31st January 2020, the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar on the coattails of the UK’s referendum result, followed suit with the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
An in-principal framework for an agreement between the United Kingdom and Spain has been reached in relation to Gibraltar. This includes a crucial mutual agreement setting aside historical positions and sovereignty over Gibraltar, which has consequently opened the possibility for Gibraltar to form part of the Schengen Area. A further 6 months of negotiations have been granted in order to settle the practical elements of the deal. The hope is that the inclusion of Gibraltar in the Schengen area will allow for the free-movement of persons and increased fluidity across the border with Spain as Gibraltar’s gateway to the EU.