In Gibraltar, Brexit Vote Stirs Fears of a Rocky Road

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Every weekday morning, Christian Bjørløw drives 12 miles from his home in southern Spain, parks his car in a sunbaked lot and, flashing his passport, walks into this sliver of Britain at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula. The Danish banker is one of about 10,000 people accustomed to an easy cross-border commute to work here. The prospect of a British vote next week to leave the European Union has put them—and Gibraltarians, who depend on easy access to Europe’s market—on edge, The Wall Street Journal reported. Spain and the U.K. have been at loggerheads over Gibraltar since Anglo-Dutch forces captured the territory in 1704 and Britain gained sovereignty nine years later. Spain has sought its return ever since. In the event of a British exit from the EU, or “Brexit,” Spain has vowed to press its claim to the tiny British overseas territory. Spanish leaders have offered to help Gibraltar maintain its market access, but only if Spain can gain joint sovereignty and hoist its flag alongside the Union Jack here—an option Gibraltar’s leaders reject. That leaves the territory’s 33,100 inhabitants, who are set to vote overwhelmingly in favor of staying in the bloc, worried that Spain would assert its power by tightening passport checks—a border-snarling tactic it has used in previous disputes. Read more. (Subscription required.)
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