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Gibraltar celebrates 300 years of British reign, but Spain still wants it back
15 July 2013 @ 19:52

BRITISH sovereignty of Gibraltar is now 300 years old and the ongoing tug-of-war between the UK and Spain over the Rock has never relented in that time.

Three centuries ago on Saturday – on July 13, 1713 – the Treaty of Utrecht was signed in which the Kingdom of Spain ceded Gibraltar to Great Britain, a move that the Spanish authorities still call today 'an historic mistake'.

Spain wants the Rock to be returned to its Crown and form part of the southern region of Andalucía, as it was 300 years ago when Article 10 of the Treaty was signed to end the Spanish War of Secession – nine years after the tiny 5.5-square-kilometre enclave was conquered and occupied by Anglo-Dutch forces.

Back then, taking over the Rock gave the UK and Holland a strategic point for setting up military bases and maintaining control over trading routes by sea – and in fact, a Naval base remains there today.  


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