Gibraltar is a United Kingdom Overseas Territory situated at the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula and overlooking the western entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. It is two and a half square miles in area and has a resident population of approximately 28,000 people.
Gibraltar was captured by the United Kingdom in 1704 during the War of Spanish Succession. It was ceded to Britain in perpetuity by Spain under Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
The Rock is self-governing with regard to ‘Defined Domestic Matters’. These include most areas with the exception of foreign affairs, internal security and defence.
Unlike the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, Gibraltar lies within the European Union, by virtue of para (4) of article 299 of the Treaty of Rome. In general it is treated as a part of the member state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK government is therefore responsible to the European Union for ensuring that Gibraltar complies with EU directives and regulations. However three derogations were obtained upon accession to the EU — Gibraltar does not have to comply with Community Rules on the Common Customs Tariff, the Common Agricultural Policy or the Harmonisation of Turnover Taxes (VAT).
The UK government is also ultimately responsible for the economic and political stability of the territory.
As the only British territory outside the United Kingdom, but inside the European Union, Gibraltar offers unique advantages in the field of "passporting". Gibraltar currently benefits from the Single European Passports for insurance, banking and investment services.
Gibraltar a European Finance Centre
Gibraltar is well established as a major European finance centre. Gibraltar offers a favourable fiscal environment within a high quality legal and regulatory infrastructure under-pinned by a stable Government and the availability of a well-qualified labour force. Gibraltar’s attraction is enhanced by its status within the EU and particularly from passporting opportunities.
Gibraltar has signed OECD-style Exchange of Information agreements with thirteen countries to date. The above, together with the introduction of a low, across-the-board, flat rate company tax of 10% means that Gibraltar will be well positioned as a well-regulated onshore financial centre.