Gibraltar is a peninsula with an area of 2.75 square miles situated at the Southern most tip of Spain. Gibraltar has been a Crown Colony of the United Kingdom since 1713 when the Territory was ceded to Britain under the terms of the treaty of Utrecht. Gibraltar is politically and economically stable and although Spain still maintains a territorial claim over Gibraltar the British Government has undertaken not to place the people of Gibraltar under the sovereignty of another state without their free and democratic consent. This consent is most unlikely to be forthcoming.
Britain maintains responsibility for defence and international affairs but local matters, including company and taxation law, are the preserve of a locally elected House of Assembly.
Gibraltar is a full member of the European community having been included as a member when Britain joined in 1973 but Gibraltar is specifically excluded from the European Common Agricultural Policy, the VAT system and the Common Customs Union.
Gibraltar enjoys a sophisticated range of banking, legal, accountancy and other professional services. Communications are excellent. The currency is, for all practical purposes, the British Pound Sterling (although local Gibraltar Pounds are also issued and trade on a par with Sterling) and the population is bilingual in English and Spanish which facilitates the translation of documents for the Spanish speaking market.