Gibraltar profile - Timeline

  • Published

A chronology of key events:

711 - Gibraltar captured by Muslim commander Tariq Ibn-Ziyad.

Image caption,
Gibraltar is a major shipping port and base for Britain's Royal Navy

1462 - Spain recovers Gibraltar from the Moors.

1501 - Isabella I, queen of Castile and Aragon, annexes Gibraltar to Spain.

1704 - The English capture Gibraltar during War of Spanish Succession.

1713 - Spain cedes Gibraltar to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht.

1830 - Britain designates Gibraltar a British crown colony.

1940 - Civilian population temporarily evacuated to make Gibraltar a military fortress during the Second World War. Discontent at the slow pace of repatriation after the war becomes one of the sources of demands for self-government.

1950 - First Legislative Council convened.

1963 - Spanish government begins a campaign through the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation for the handover of Gibraltar to Spain.

1967 - Referendum: Residents vote resoundingly in favour of continued British sovereignty.

1969 - Britain introduces full internal self-government under a new constitution, with an elected House of Assembly. Spain closes its border with Gibraltar, withdraws its labour force and cuts transport and communication links in protest.

1973 - Gibraltar joins the European Economic Community alongside Britain.

1980 - Lisbon agreement between the British and Spanish government initiates the gradual re-establishment of talks over Gibraltar.

1981 - Gibraltarians granted full British citizenship after a campaign against the British Nationality Act, which had proposed removing their right of entry to Britain.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Gibraltarians overwhelmingly rejected joint British-Spanish sovereignty in a 2002 referendum

1982 - Spain opens the border to pedestrians under limited conditions.

1984 - Under the terms of the Brussels Process, Britain and Spain agree to provide equal rights for Spaniards in Gibraltar and for Gibraltarians in Spain. Free border crossing between Spain and Gibraltar is restored.

'No' to shared sovereignty

2002 - Referendum reaffirms almost total Gibraltarian opposition to British government proposals for joint British-Spanish sovereignty. Britain reaffirms that no decision on the future of Gibraltar will be made without the consent of Gibraltarians.

2004 August - Gibraltar marks the 300th anniversary of the establishment of British rule. Spain criticises visit by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon as "insensitive".

2006 September - Ministers from Britain, Spain and Gibraltar sign a landmark agreement under which border controls are further eased. Spain agrees to allows flights to Gibraltar's airport. The deal makes no mention of sovereignty.

2006 November - Voters in a referendum back a new constitution. This confirms Gibraltarian home rule, and renames the House of Assembly the Parliament of Gibraltar.

2006 December - Passenger flights between Gibraltar and Spain recommence after a Spanish ban of many decades.

2009 July - Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos visits Gibraltar for talks with the local government and his British counterpart David Miliband, this being the first visit by a Spanish minister since Britain captured the Rock.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Gibraltar is an important staging post for Britain's Royal Navy

2010 July - Gibraltar announces it is ending tax-free offshore status for locally-registered companies operating outside Gibraltar from January 2011.

2011 December - Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party and their Liberal partners win elections, ending a 15-year run in office of the Gibraltar Social Democrats, led by Peter Caruana. Socialist Labour leader Fabian Picardo becomes chief minister.

2013 July-November - Tension with Spain flares up again after Gibraltar begins the construction of an artificial reef in the waters off the Rock. Spain introduces stricter border checks at the crossing. The European Commission says there was no evidence the checks were illegal.

2014 January - Declassified documents show former King Juan Carlos of Spain told Britain in 1982 that it was not in his country's "interest to recover Gibraltar in the near future" as it would trigger Moroccan claims to the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla.

2014 April - British foreign office says Spanish vessels made more than 500 unauthorised incursions into Gibraltar waters in 2013.

2016 June - UK referendum on EU membership, 96% of Gibraltarians vote to remain. Turnout is 84%.

2020 January - UK and Gibraltar leave the EU.

2020 December - UK and Spain agree in principle to a basis on which the UK and the EU could negotiate terms for Gibraltar to participate some aspects of the Schengen Agreement to ease border movements. The arrangements have not entered into force.