At only just over 2.5 square miles in area, Gibraltar occupies one of the most crucial pieces of land in the world. As the gateway to the Mediterranean Sea and the easiest point to cross between two separate continents, the space signifies power and control. Occupied and administered by Britain since the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, Spain has continually claimed the territory that would sensibly belong to the large nation on the Iberian Peninsula that borders this tiny principality. This has been a contentious issue, straining Anglo-Spanish relations, but due to the many British "expats," several referendums of Gibraltarians have rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty.
Not only does the land cause tension between two European nations, but its critical location allows the British to exert control across the Mediterranean and Northern Africa. The majority of the economy of the territory is driven by the British military due to the location of an outpost. As a special territory, many international banks have located to Gibraltar and shipping is a huge industry since it serves as an important fulcrum and connection point.