Gibraltar edges closer to Spain with post-Brexit tax treaty

Gibraltar: Theresa May let the Spanish use the Rock to roll right over her. Now it is drifting towards Spain (politically, not physically).

Is it good or bad?

The UK government has signed a new treaty with Spain over Gibraltar. No, it doesn’t transfer ownership of the Rock back to the Spanish, but it does align their tax systems.

Some might think this is inconsequential – but it puts Gibraltar in a closer position to Spain (and the EU), and will prevent it from being used as a tax haven.

Gibraltar voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum and the result – forcing the UK to leave – created considerable issues for the small community there.

Many commentators see this treaty – the first explicitly over Gibraltar between the UK and Spain in around 308 years – as a first step towards handing the Rock back.

Even if it isn’t, it seems likely the UK government will face criticism – if anybody gets to hear about it; the British mainstream media have ignored the treaty (in accordance with the apparent drift towards fascism in this country – the only news the public gets is what the country’s masters decide may be permitted).

Spain demanded a free hand to negotiate the future of Gibraltar with the UK back in 2018, raising concerns that its government believed it would be better-able to have the Rock returned to it without the other EU nations holding it back.

I said at the time that a threat to the UK’s ownership of even one territory could create a cascade effect in which attempts are made to take many of them away at once – and the UK’s military capacity may no longer be great enough to prevent them all.

But the loss of even one will harm the country’s international reputation and accelerate its decline into backwater, “has-been” status – from which the world’s rising players may not allow it to rise for many lifetimes.

Theresa May, prime minister at the time, followed this by allowing Spain a veto over Gibraltar benefiting from any future trade deal between the UK and the EU. This prompted Spanish politicians to claim that the UK would have to open talks over “joint sovereignty”.

That hasn’t happened yet and, personally, This Writer couldn’t care less if a few tax avoiders have their noses put out of joint, but I wonder how it will affect business there.

An economic downturn could be all the prompting needed to turn residents away from a UK that they may rightly feel has betrayed them.

Source: Spain-Gibraltar: Gibraltar Treaty

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