UK Committee Inquiry Into Overseas Territories

August 4, 2018

The British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee will be conducting an inquiry into “how the Foreign Office manages its responsibility to ensure the security and stability” of the British Overseas Territories.

This is according to a statement on the UK Parliament’s official website which said, “How the Foreign Office manages its responsibility to ensure the security and stability of the UK’s 14 Overseas Territories is to be considered in a new inquiry by the Foreign Affairs Committee.”

UK overseas territories Flags TC August 3 2018

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO] has primary responsibility for the UK Overseas Territories [OTs]. These OTs are spread across four oceans and eight time zones. With a total population of 250,000, they cover a seven million sq. km maritime zone.

“They range from Bermuda, with 64,000 people and a maritime area of 53 sq. km, to the British Antarctic Territory, with no permanent residents but a maritime area of 1.8 million sq. km. These dispersed territories support the UK’s global reach but ensuring their security and stability, while respecting the principle of self-government, presents a major challenge to the FCO.

“Many face similar challenges. Most raise their own revenues but many depend on funding from a range of government departments and international organisations.

“Many have struggled to build sustainable economies while adapting to the increasing demands of global transparency. Several are the subject of sovereignty claims. They include some of the world’s richest biodiversity maritime zones but most are heavily exposed to climate change and increasingly regular extreme weather events.

“In recent years, the OTs have been exposed to shocks, from the Panama Papers in 2015, to the Brexit vote in 2016, and Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. This led some OTs to question the Government’s willingness to support them. Relations have been put under further strain due to high-profile instances of divergence between the UK and some of the OTs on issues such as civil rights and financial transparency.

“In the light of these concerns, this inquiry will consider the resilience of the OTs, how effectively the FCO manages its responsibilities towards them, and how it envisages their future. The inquiry is likely to be structured around overarching themes but may look at individual OTs, as and when appropriate.”

The Chair of the Committee, Tom Tugendhat MP, said: ”The Overseas Territories have a special place in our constitution. They are self-governing but part of the United Kingdom.

“As our place in the world changes, we need to think about the effect on them and whether the structure of our relationships still work. The Committee will look at these distant parts of our community and look at how we work to support all our communities.”

The Committee said they welcome written submissions on:

  • The governance of the OTs, including their adherence to human rights frameworks;
  • The benefits to the UK and the OTs of the relationship between them;
  • The financing of the OTs;
  • Representation of the OTs in the UK and in the Commonwealth and other international fora;
  • Assets and liabilities [including but not limited to ecological richness and the effects of extreme weather, and natural resources such as minerals and fish].

“Send a written submission here. The deadline for written evidence for this inquiry is 3 September 2018.”

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Comments (9)

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  1. J R Smith says:

    The U.K. needs to focus on brexit &their own national security. Antisemetic behaviour from politicians, financial corruption in banking sectors, innocent people splashed with acid, stabbings, terrorist attacks, etc etc. leave us alone and focus on making “Britain great again”

  2. Daron Lowe says:

    Mama is coming after the money!

  3. Clem says:

    About time. For too long this Overseas Territory has treated people worse than the UK ever treated the Windrush generation, while all the time not wishing to man up to their obligations, instead choosing to present a public percention on the international stage as a grown up jurstiction and at home keeping the cruel denial of basic human rights alive.

    Please rescue us from these cruel and unjust laws.

  4. Alvin Williams says:

    It’s time Bermuda look out for it’s own interests; Britain is abut to be concern about it’s own interests, Scotland is about to make a decision to do the same in regard to it’s future. This is the way the world is going as the peoples are been force to make their own decisions.

  5. SMDH says:

    “the peoples are been force”

    Go back to where you came from, or learn the language spoken in Bermuda.