Gibraltar: A Tax Haven Not a Nation 885

There are 32,000 Gibraltarians organised into 11,400 households. Extraordinarily there are more registered companies than households, including 8,464 registered offshore companies.

The Government of Gibraltar’s own website is notably candid about its tax haven activities. It urges you to establish there so you can take advantage of:

Highly-developed business services infrastructure where it is possible to passport an EU licence in financial services such as insurance and re-insurance, EU-wide pensions, banking and funds administration, amongst others.
Distribute competitively priced VAT-free goods and services to the markets of the EU and Africa.
Conduct business in a quality low-tax jurisdiction with a profit oriented capital base at low levels of corporate tax, all in a stable currency with few restrictions in moving capital or repatriating dividends.

It is no wonder Gibraltar voted 96% pro-EU. Its entire economy rests upon the use of its anomalous status to undercut the tax regimes of genuine EU members. Remarkably for a population the size of Ramsgate, there are 17 registered banks in Gibraltar, including Credit Suisse, the money laundering giant raided by combined European police forces yet again yesterday, and RBS/Natwest’s tax avoidance entity.

Gibraltar was occupied by England (yes, England) in 1704 when it was sacked by the Hessian Prince George (wry smile Hessian – sacked) and 90% of the Spanish population fled after being subjected to mass rape.

Britnats have been all over twitter this last 24 hours shouting that Gibraltar was given to Britain “in perpetuity” by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. Thankfully the world has changed since 1713. The Treaty of Utrecht also gave Brazil to Portugal, much of Italy to the Hapsburgs and gave Britain the monopoly on the shipping of African slaves to South America. Thankfully none of those turned out to be perpetual and the British occupation of Gibraltar is equally immoral and anachronistic. That the Foreign and Commonwealth still quotes the Treaty of Utrecht is evidence of the moral bankruptcy of the British government’s position.

There is a key point here. Empires cannot cloak their continued Imperial possessions under the “right of self-determination” of Imperial client populations. Still less is there a “right of self-determination” for an entire Imperial client population to leech off tax avoidance activities by virtue of their Imperial possession status. The right of self-determination does not apply to the colonists of Gibraltar, who like the Falklanders are an introduced Imperial population – contrary to myth the large majority of Gibraltarians are not descended from the original Spanish population. Gibraltar is plainly listed by the UN as a Non Self Governing Territory. Self-determination is not applicable in international law. UN General Assembly Resolution 2353 specifically asserted that Gibraltar is a colony which impinges on the territorial integrity of Spain and thus on Spanish right to self-determination, and that a referendum of the colonial population could not change that.

Britain’s fervidly jingoistic attempts to hold on to its remaining colonies are pathetic. I have a memory as a very small child of watching Rolf Harris on TV dressed in union jacks singing “Please Don’t Alter Gibraltar” to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory. Google has just reassured me this really happened and was not a nightmare. I now realise from the timing that was a riposte to the UN General Assembly discussions. That it was Rolf Harris gives the perfect pointer to the grossly immoral British position on Gibraltar.

Ironies abound.

Irony 1
It is the Little England Brexiteers who are frothing at the mouth over the EU saying it will take heed of Spain’s position on Gibraltar – despite the fact the Gibraltarians voted 96% in favour of the EU.
They cry, how dare the EU take into account the position of the United Nations and of its member state, Spain, against what will be a non-member state? Who could have seen that coming?

Irony 2

Gibraltarians of course voted in favour of the EU in order to benefit from the opportunity to continue undermining EU tax regimes.

Irony 3

The Daddy of them all. The Britnats who crowed repeatedly at Scots, extolling alleged (and improbable) Spanish desire to veto Scottish EU membership, are shocked, shocked that Spain may veto a Brexit settlement over Gibraltar.

Anyway, to cheer up you Britnats, here is a picture of the massive audience for Theresa May’s recent Glasgow speech. Dressed as Rolf Harris. Altogether now “Please Don’t Alter Gibraltar”.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

885 thoughts on “Gibraltar: A Tax Haven Not a Nation

1 6 7 8
  • Republicofscotland

    Now its become a witch hunt over Ken Livingstone, why, because he gave his opinion on a matter.

    If Mr Livingstone had given his opinion, on just about any other subject there wouldn’t have been such an uproar.

    I like Ken Livingstone, his candidness is refreshing.

    It was Ken Livingstone who said that “Capitalism has killed more people than Hitler.”

    When you cast your eyes across to Iraq or Libya, or many African nations that have been stripped by Western hegemony, you find it hard to disagree with him on that.

    • Bayard

      It’s not Capitalism that has killed anyone, it’s something far older and simpler than that, it’s called Greed.

      • Phil the ex-frog

        Yes greed predates capitalism. However, in human history greed has not dominated as our present capitalist culture would have you believe. For ~100,000 years pre-neolithic humans lived without excessive greed and that was balanced by the recognition of how we can cooperate. Cooperation enabled the development of the big brain. Cooperation enables bus queues. Cooperation is all around. There are many people who still live in egalitarian societies now. Only recently, ~15,000 – 5,000 years ago, did greed begin to take hold, as the first priest class built monuments to the sun, putting fences in the ground, as men said this is my goat, this is my wife, this is mine.

        Capitalism fosters greed. It falsely rejects any possibility that people cannot help but be greedy. You must compete with those nearby for a job, for a home, for the latest perfume. A company must pay the lowest wage or it will go bust. A country must fight another so the ruling class can further enrich themselves with the distant resources. Greed is baked into capitalism.

        • fred

          It wasn’t priests changed things, it was agriculture, people realised instead of following the herds they could stay in one place and grow crops, raise livestock, build a permanent home. The came trade, then came money.

          • Phil the ex-frog


            Yes of course. Agriculture drove the neolithic. I was very crudely outlining the new culture that arose out of the material change.

  • Republicofscotland

    Re the dubious chemical attack in Syria.

    “Britain’s foreign secretary, a rebel commander and a weapons expert all said the evidence pointed to an attack by Syrian government forces.”

    Oh well that’s it confirmed then, if those three amigo’s claim it was government forces, then who are we to dispute them.

  • Habbabkuk


    So what is your opinion about the last European colonies in Africa – I refer of course to Ceuta and Melilla. Should they be handed back to Morocco?

  • Habbabkuk


    The NHS is reportedly in a bit of a mess in England and Wales but would you admit that it is apparently in an ever bigger mess in Scotland?

    I wonder if you believe that an independent Scotland would make a better fist of running its NHS (I assume it is SNP policy to have a free-at-the-point-of-service NHS : please confirm that, btw) and if you do, tell us why (briefly).

    • Mike Slessor

      If you do not even know how to spell my country, why would anyone take your absurd comment seriously?

  • Habbabkuk


    And while I’m on the theme of a possible independent Scotland, has the SNP said anything about whether it would be a monarchy with Her Majesty and her descendants as Head of State** or whether it would be a Republic with an elected President?


    **cue “Lysias” to push the claims of the Princely House of Liechtenstein.

  • michael norton

    Haddad also said the Turkish army has occupied Idlib governorate’s Qirbat and Atma districts, while sending heavy armor to seize territory near the town of Afrin. According to Syria’s ambassador, the Turks have begun preparations to build a wall that would split the captured lands off from Syrian territory.

    Turkish troops, tanks, and combat aircraft first crossed into Syria on August 24, 2016. According to the Turkish government, the offensive dubbed Operation Euphrates Shield was launched to first suppress a Kurdish insurgency and move it away from the Turkish border, and then fight IS militants in northern Syria.

    In recent months, the Turkish Army and allied Syrian rebels have seized the strategic towns of Jarablus and al-Bab, while advancing deeper into Syrian territory.

      • Republicofscotland

        The Turks are very close to the Kurds as well, and look how they’ve faired.

        I’d believe the Express newspaper (and that’s saying something) before I’d believe state controlled Turkish tv, press or a word from the snakes head Erdogan.

  • Habbabkuk


    Put down that bottle and pat attention, this is quite important.

    You must have a permanent French social security number – you’ve been in France long enough.

    I should like to know how long you had to wait with a temporary number until you got your permanent one.

    I have heard that the French take their time when it comes to giving foreigners a permanent social security number.

    Not asking for opinions, etc but just facts.

  • mike

    BBC, today: “UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson responded to the Russian statement by saying: “All the evidence I have seen suggests this was the Assad regime… using illegal weapons on their own people.”

    What evidence?

    • michael norton

      I can’t understand why Boris ( half-Turkish) doesn’t go to Idlib Province, he could then get The White Helmets to include him in one of their films, lifting babies up into the air.

  • michael norton

    Rohan Beyts loses The Scottish Donald urination privacy case

    9 minutes ago
    From the section NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

    Ministry of Truth

  • michael norton

    North Sea end game soon

    BP sells ‘good old Forties’ North Sea oil pipeline to Ineos

    The pipeline was a cornerstone infrastructure project for BP and massively important to the UK.
    The system, which once featured in a BP television advertisement with the tagline ‘good old Forties’, carries the equivalent of 40% of UK North Sea oil production to the mainland every day – some 445,000 barrels – and nearly a third of its gas.

    From today, though, FPS is no longer owned by BP. It has been bought by Ineos, the privately owned chemicals giant, for a maximum of $250m.

    It is difficult to overemphasise how important FPS has been both to the UK and to BP.

    New analysis says North Sea oil and gas industry cost taxpayer nearly £400m in 2016

    • Node

      New analysis says North Sea oil and gas industry cost taxpayer nearly £400m in 2016

      …. but did the oil and gas industry make a loss? I bet they didn’t. Westminster absolved them of all liability in exchange for a pittance. The ministers who did the deals are probably now on the oil company boards.

      …. Westminster …. liability ….

  • Dave

    I don’t agree with the post of Elected Mayor, but the position means the London Mayor has the highest personal vote, over 1 million with second preferences counted, of any politician in UK and Livingstone was elected 3 times and nearly twice more.

    Elected politicians are required to observe a Code of Conduct that stipulates treating other people with respect. This is difficult if you think they’re mad and if they think your ideas are insulting. It, as easily foretold, led to a flood of complaints to the Standards Board of England, mostly by politicians against each other. It was another bit of New Labour corruption, because it could involve your political opponents being your judge and jury and suspending you from office. But officially anyone could complain about a politician’s ‘lack of respect’.

    This happened to Livingstone! One evening he left a ‘County Hall’ social/meeting and was questioned by an Evening Standard journalist. After a number of exchanges Livingstone said he didn’t want to answer any more, presumably hostile, questions, but the journalist continued to ask saying it was his job. Now being subjected to the same repeated and not wanted questions becomes insulting in itself and this led Livingstone to counter-insult. He said, oh just doing your job, you’d make a good concentration camp guard! The journalist said the remark was insulting and particularly so as he was Jewish and carried on asking questions. No one else was involved.

    Contrary to tradition and practice the Board of Deputies of British Jews themselves submitted a complaint to the Standards Board of England saying Livingstone had bought his office into disrepute by insulting the Jewish journalist and said he should apologise. The Standards Board (whoever they were) agreed it was insulting and suspended him from office, which he successfully appealed, but I’m not sure with public or private funds.

    But there you are, a politician elected on over a million votes, insults a journalist late at night, with no one else involved. The BoDoBJ complains and he’s suspended from office, by some faceless civil servants. Hence the fear of the groundless charge of “anti-Semitism” that has been repackaged under iniquitous “hate crime” legislation.

    • Node

      Watching Ken Livingston being harangued on Channel 4 News last night, it struck me that the actual point of the excercise was to display Zi0nist power to all interested parties. No-one disputes he was telling the truth but the lesson to be learned is “We will destroy you if you oppose us. Let all those watching think twice before telling the truth about us.”

  • Republicofscotland

    EU Parliament chief Guy Verhofstadt, brands Brexit stupidity and says, the Conservative party has gotten out of hand.

    Well I tend to agree with that synopsis, the stupidity of Brexit has seen Spain emboldened over Gibraltar, and it could have the backing of the other 26 EU nation over Gibralter, if negotiations become less cordial.

    As for the Tories being out of hand, that too is a clear concise description, of a party, that is as far right as Marine Le Pen’s FN party in my opinion.

    I say that knowing that Ukip and the Tories think alike.

    Cue the Gibralter whiners. ?

    • Habbabkuk

      Stop pretending to be concerned about Gibraltar, you hypocrite. 🙂

      BTW, you owe readers answers to several questions on a subject you claim to know something about….see above.

    • nevermind

      UKIP and the Tory’s will go down in history for having laid the foundations for the end of the union, when all they wanted is to keep their friends in the City of London happy. RIP UK

      • Habbabkuk

        Why do you pretend to care about the UK, Nomind? After all, you never stop carping about the place, its politicians and its people, do you…..

  • Habbabkuk

    From “RidiculousofScotland” :

    “One question that comes to mind though is, as the Brexiteers seek to throw foreigners out of Britain, one wonders just how much of a influx from India, Hammond will need concede to get a fair deal.”

    We know that RoS swoons with pleasure when thinking about immigration from the Continent but the above gives one the impression he doesn’t like the idea of immigration from a certain eminent member of the Commonwealth. A little touch of racism in the night, perhaps?

  • Republicofscotland

    Well it didn’t take long for the oppressive rogue state of Israel, to cry crocodile tears over the dubious gas attack in Syria, an attack anywhere on any nation around the world is of course in the eyes of Israeli authorities, anti-Semitic.

    Israeli president Rivlin, had a cheek to call the gas attack, “a stain on humanity” he added it was “murderous madness.”

    • Node

      Blockquote>”Israeli soldiers reported having coming under fire from Palestinians and responded by shelling and machine-gunning Khan Younis, a town then under strict Israeli blockade, the barrage continuing well into the night. The firing drove people inside where closed windows and doors appear to have offered little protection.

      The next morning found an estimated 300 Palestinians newly homeless.[3] and that afternoon the new gas canisters rolled into the streets, courtyards, and houses of both Khan Younis city and the Gharbi refugee camp in Gaza.

      This first attack led to forty people being admitted to Al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis “in an odd state of hysteria and nervous breakdown”, suffering from “fainting and spasms.” Sixteen of them had to be transferred to the intensive care unit. Doctors “reported the Israeli use of gas that appeared to cause convulsions.” At the Gharbi refugee camp thirty-two people “were treated for serious injuries” following exposure to the gas. Dr. Salakh Shami at Al-Amal Hospital reported that the hospital received “about 130 patients suffering from gas inhalation from February 12.”[4]

      Around 3 weeks later on March 2, similar attacks were reported in the West Bank, beginning with the town of Al-Bireh.
      Of the known nerve gases, tabun is the most likely candidate – even if not, it was likely a potent anticholinesterase poison belonging to this family of organophosphate nerve poisons. Eyewitness testimony and news reports indicate that this gas was deliberately released into the homes, schoolyards, and streets of occupied Palestine, where the presence of civilian men, women, and children was a certainty.”

  • reel guid

    The European Parliament passes a resolution that notes that Scotland voted to stay in the EU.

    That is a formal recognition and has significance.

    • Republicofscotland

      Yes, as Scotland builds bridges with the EU, the rUK, sets about burning them. ?

      • MJ

        Scotland is of course part of the UK and looks like remaining so for the foreseeable future.

        • michael norton

          I bet that Sturgeon woman does not even get to meet
          The Scottish Donald.

          • michael norton

            Nicola Sturgeon has said she would agree to meet President Donald Trump if he was to come to Scotland during his official visit to the UK.

            The Scottish first minister has been a vocal critic of Mr Trump both before and after his victory in last year’s election.

            Ms Sturgeon will not meet any members of Mr Trump’s administration during her current trip to the US.

            But she said she would not decline any invitation to meet him in Scotland.

            Ministry of Truth

            she shot herself through both feet with both barrels.

  • Dykeward

    “The right of self-determination does not apply to the colonists of Gibraltar, who like the Falklanders are an introduced Imperial population”

    were we to accept Mr Murray’s assertion here we would also have to accept the insane corollary that the populations of the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and so forth are similarly illegitimate. In fact even nations of older antiquity can consider their nationhood to have come of age in the last 200 years (nationalism). This is before we look at Gibraltar’s BOT status i.e. as a right of a people 300+ years in residence to determine their own political relationships.

    It’s clearly nonsense, Mr Murray trying to find a reasons to promote what he believes, rather than what’s rational or practical.

    • Bayard

      “were we to accept Mr Murray’s assertion here we would also have to accept the insane corollary that the populations of the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and so forth are similarly illegitimate”

      Not only that, but the pre-1704 Spanish population was equally “an introduced Imperial population”, having kicked the Moors off the Rock. Then again, the Moors themselves were conquerors of a previous set of inhabitants and so it goes on.

      In any case what constitutes “an introduced Imperial population”? The Falkland Islands were uninhabited before colonisation by Europeans. Is it the fact that the settlers were subjects of an empire that disqualifies them from self-determination, because it certainly isn’t the fact that there were pre-existing inhabitants that had a prior right? If so, why are subjects of empire uniquely disqualified, whereas, presumably, subjects of nation states or members of nomadic hunter gather tribes are not?

      • Portjim

        Consider also Poland! The USSR invaded and occupied eastern Poland in agreement/conjunction with nazi Germany. After WWII Polands’ western border was moved to compensate, so at the moment Poland and USSR successor states include territory (ex German and ex Polish) acquired by war and treaty.
        Likewise, the northern islands of Japan are now Russian, nobody seems to be particularly interested in China’s’ continued occupation of Tibet, etc etc.

  • Pascual ODogherty Carame

    There is no damage in earing something rational from time to time

  • Robert Coelho

    Dangerous guy, does he still work with the F&CO with these screwed up ideas.

  • Thomas Coelho

    Just a couple of corrections to your main points. The majority of the population of Gibraltar voted for Britain to remain in the EU because they feared that a Brexit would give Spain under the control of the facist and corrupt Partido Popular extra leverage to attempt to claw back on their obsession to regain sovereignty of Gibraltar.

    I think everyone agrees that tax havens throughout the world that help the multi-millionaires/billionaires stash their wealth should not exist. However we all know that in reality, despite their rhetoric, politicians will not do anything to tackle this issue. Therefore this argument should not be used to excuse the PP and EU of their current bullying tactics or to suggest that co-soverignty with Spain would solve this issue.

    • Bobm

      I don’t follow you
      -do you favour the present situation, or not?
      –if you consider it irremediable, are you suggesting we just give up?

      • Thomas Coelho

        Hi Bobm,
        My opinion is that the ironies he highlighted towards the end of the article are simply incorrect. The vast majority of the population of Gibraltar did not vote for Bremain in order to protect its tax status but simply so that Britain could continue to have an influential voice in the EU and curb the Spaniard’s incessant bullying tactics affecting the average person or small business. It is a fact that many members of the Spanish Government have fascist mentalities and a mere unfounded obsession to regain sovereignty of the territory.

        I also think that the majority of reasonable people would disagree with the point the author makes about Gibraltarians not having the right to self-determination. Surely this is the basis of democracy.

        With regards to tax havens, my point is, and I am sure you will agree is that elected western governments have no real intention to clamp down on them. There is always the rhetoric at election time and then nothing ever seems to happen. If Gibraltar ceases to exist, another one will simply pop up elsewhere. Therefore this is not the issue we should be bringing up when discussing Gibraltar’s sovereignty unless the author is suggesting that Spain/EU are more qualified or better suited than the UK in tackling this ‘issue’.

        In answer to your question on do we give up?. Well, in my opinion it will take nothing short of a revolution to address the serious issues we face today. As an example, just look back 14 years when a UK leader assisted in causing the killing of over a million people in Iraq which has resulted in the creation of thousands of terrorists and the mass immigration we are currently experiencing. If something as atrocious as this is allowed to happen under false pretences, how can we ever trust Government. How can we be sure that the British people were honestly informed of the real forces/reasons behind the Brexit/Bremain movements?

  • Keith

    Gibraltar: A Tax Haven Not a Nation

    United Kingdom, shortly to become an even bigger offshore tax haven under May’s “no deal better than a bad deal” Plan B. And never ever was One Nation, despite the best propaganda of previous Tory PMs. Very well researched article by Craig Murray.

    So does Scotland stay with the reprobate Tory Kippers who want the UK to go to war with Spain over a tax haven. Or stay in the EU which has assured that democratic Europe has been war free for 60 years. Another irony, Craig, for your list! The UK’s Tory Kippers propose war in Europe and they haven’t even left yet!!

  • Patrick Whelton

    You could have also mentioned the delicious irony that the Government of Gibraltar together with the trade body for its offshore gambling industry is currently taking a case against HMG in the ECJ on the grounds that application of the UK Remote Gaming Duty to Gibraltar (1) amounts to discrimination and (2) restricts trade between member states.
    The current position is that an Advocate General has issued an opinion, but a chamber of the ECJ has yet to consider the case.

1 6 7 8

Comments are closed.