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British Overseas Territories

Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the merits of granting full independence to (a) the British Virgin Islands, (b) Bermuda, (c) the Turks and Caicos Islands, (d) Anguilla and (e) the Cayman Islands. (250424)

The 1999 White Paper on the Overseas Territories (Partnership for Progress and Prosperity) made clear that it is for the citizens of each territory to determine whether they wish to stay linked to Britain or not. Our policy remains to give every help and encouragement to those territories that wish to proceed to independence, where it is an option. Since the White Paper, no territory has opted for independence, we have therefore not made a recent assessment of the merits of granting independence to any overseas territory.