Gibraltar is a small European country to the south of the Iberian Peninsula which has been a source of friction between Spain and the UK.
Considered strategically important, Gibraltar was ceded to Great Britain by Spain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was
formally declared a colony in 1830. In a 1967 referendum, Gibraltarians ignored Spanish pressure and voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency.
It is known that Gibraltarians have always opposed any deal that might give Spain a say in their future. Fifteen years of isolation under General Franco - who sealed the frontier between the Rock and Spain - and more than 20 years of officially sanctioned harassment by Spanish border guards since then have done nothing to dispel the mistrust of Gibraltarians.