Britain seeks to unite overseas territories

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Rayc, Oct 3, 2011.

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  1. Rayc

    Rayc RIP

    Britain seeks to unite overseas territories

    They are fourteen territories of wildly different sizes and shapes scattered across the globe, but bound by a shared history: they are all remnants of the British Empire. Now Britain wants to tie them in more closely with London in matters of governance, finance and law and order. From tiny Pitcairn Islands (pop: 50) to Bermuda, one of the world's largest tax havens, the so-called British Overseas Territories span an area of more than 1.7 million sq km, most of it made up of the scientific research station, British Antarctic Territory.

    Their total population is only around 239,000 but the territories include some key strategic, financial and biodiversity interests that are prompting London's review of its relationship with the self-governing colonies.

    The British government on September 14 launched a consultation for a White Paper on the territories to be published next year - the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II's reign. The main objective - to ensure the security and good governance of the territories and their peoples - has been agreed by the National Security Council, consisting of senior ministers, military chiefs and heads of the secret services.....

    But there have been other, more recent, developments that appear to have made London sit up and take a closer look at the affairs of these distant outposts.

    In August 2009, Britain had to suspend the government of Turks and Caicos Islands, a tax haven in the Caribbean, after corrupt local leaders misused public money and profited from the sale of government-owned land. In July 2010, Britain agreed to lend the bankrupt island £10mn.

    "There was a potential risk there - that scale of financial mismanagement can lead to huge debts," a British official told HT. There is a recognition that restructuring such debts with aid could have an impact on British finances at an economically difficult time.

    The health of tax havens such as Turks and Caicos, Bermuda and Cayman Islands is important to Britain as they are closely linked to London's financial centre. In general, Britain's financial aid to the dependencies goes mainly to Montserrat and far-flung St Helena.

    Britain seeks to unite overseas territories - Hindustan Times
  2. Rayc

    Rayc RIP

  3. If the BOT were united, would they have the financial clout to call the shots on the mainland? It'd make a change from independence...
  4. How much is this going to cost us?
  5. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Interesting, I would wait to see what constituional solutions are offered, the idea has merit nonetheless. If the BOTs maintained a small devolved Parliament/Assembly with members sitting in the Commons or Lords it would make sense. Though more so if the Lords became the UK Federal Parliament and the Commons the English Devolved Parliament.
  6. Isn't this something like the French did with their remaining colonies?
  7. Canada have talking about unification with Turks and Caicos island as well, possibly as a Territory or part of Newfoundland to get round the need to for the constitution to be amended, taking one of our hands.
  9. Here is my plan to unify the BOTs and stailise the world...


    It's all about ink spots.
  10. Must be more oil and gas than suspected under all those bits of ocean.
  11. Do we have a carrier to secure it?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Make them wholly part of the UK and use the least populated and desolate islands for the deportation of recividist criminals and other undesirables [eg., terrorists who have been given leave to stay in the "UK" because of the unintended consequences of the human rights act.]
    [They could even take their kith and kin with them if they felt they were deprived of a family life]
  13. Just out of curiosity, has anyone actually asked them if they want to be united? I can't imagine the Bennies being too chuffed at losing their self-governing status.
  14. I'm instinctively wary of any suggestion of constitutional change - it's much better to let sleeping dogs lie. Most people go on with their day to day lives without being too troubled by the specific nature of their government and, save exceptional crises, will carry on that way pretty much indefinitely, small-c conservatives sticking with what's expected and familiar; but there's always a wriggling fuse of eager activists, eyes glinting at the chance to get everyone to listen to their Grand Designs, who will spark at the barest thread of an opportunity and blow everything to pieces. If this plan secures the future of the BOT then I'm all for it, but I hope the policymakers are careful that they don't stir up adverse sentiment by breaching the topic and opening the field to the sectarian cranks.
  15. Makes a pleasant change from the Blair ethos of wanting to give them away to anyone who asks.