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In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne. The territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, which is only 8 miles wide at this naval choke point. It remains strategically important, with half the world's seaborne trade passing through the strait.
The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations because Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and, in a 2002 referendum, the idea of shared sovereignty was also rejected.
1704 - Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession
1713 - The territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht
1967 - Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a referendum
2002 - A referendum, with the idea of shared sovereignty with the Spanish was also rejected