Gibraltar is and has been a British Dependant Overseas Territory since 1704. Gibraltar is located at the southern most tip of Spain.
Gibraltar enjoys a great measure of self-government. It has a written constitution in the form of the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006. This, apart from embodying the fundamental freedoms, sets up a Westminster-style democratic Government. It also defines the responsibilities of the government. Gibraltar’s Legal system mirrors that of England. It is a common law jurisdiction that applies the principles of Equity. Gibraltar´s statute law consists of Acts passed by the Gibraltar Parliament and very few English Acts of Parliament made applicable to Gibraltar by Orders in Council. The Gibraltar Parliament normally enacts the statute laws of Gibraltar. The statute law of Gibraltar normally follows the pattern of English and now European Union legislation by virtue of its EU membership since 1973. It should be noted that Gibraltar is one of the few states to have enacted all EU Directives.
Gibraltar is self-governing with parliamentary elections held every 4 years. The elected parliament assumes responsibility for all aspects of running the territory including taxation, health, education and policing. Gibraltar is self financing and the UK’s remit is limited to defence and foreign policy. However, as a British Dependant Overseas Territory, Gibraltar maintains very strong links with the United Kingdom and whilst most of the population is bilingual, the business language is English, the currency is sterling and schools operate to UK standards and curriculum.
The current Government was elected into power in December 2011, with a firm manifesto commitment to drive forward the financial services sector. In particular the government pledged to work with the professionals in the finance industry to make Gibraltar one of Europe’s premier Finance centres.
Unlike most other EU jurisdictions, Gibraltar’s economy has continued to expand, with a record budget surplus and a GDP growth of 7.8% being recorded in 2013, GDP per capita at £41,138 (up from 9th to 4th in the world on the IMF 2012 chart), net debt down from £303 million to £291 million and cash reserves quadrupled in twelve months.