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The separation fence between Spain and Gibraltar is a reminder that this is not an open border.

Brexit and the British Overseas Territories: Changing Perspectives on Security

Matthew C Benwell and Alasdair Pinkerton
RUSI Journal, 29 September 2016
Brexit Briefings, European Union, UK
The overseas territories face distinct challenges following Britain’s referendum on EU membership.

On 23 June 2016 the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. As well as citizens of the UK, residents of the UK Overseas Territory of Gibraltar were also allowed to vote, with 96 per cent voting Remain. While the exact modes and timings of the UK’s exit from the EU remain unclear, the campaign was characterised by increasingly heated debate and sharply contrasting visions for Britain and its relationship with the wider world in the twenty-first century. Matthew C Benwell and Alasdair Pinkerton argue that the UK’s 2016 EU referendum campaign and the political and economic evaluations that it has invited have exposed a shifting relationship between the UK and its Overseas Territories (OTs) and demonstrate the role played by the EU in fostering the OTs’ political, economic and regional security – a perspective often ignored by the OTs’ so-called ‘friends’ and supporters.

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