I am writing to inform the House of the publication today of the report of the independent feasibility study on resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory by consultants KPMG LLP. We particularly welcome the contribution of Chagossians and other interested parties here, in Mauritius and Seychelles, in developing the outcome of this factual study resulting in a credible, comprehensive evaluation of the practicalities and substantial challenges of possible resettlement. This is an important milestone, enabling interested parties with different perspectives to better understand the range of issues affecting any potential resettlement.
While recognising the options in KPMG’s report are not exhaustive even for resettlement, the report provides a solid basis on which to begin our policy review. The Government will need to consider carefully the study’s factual findings alongside a range of factors, including the history of the territory and its former population, ongoing costs and liabilities to the UK taxpayer, the ability of the military facility on Diego Garcia to operate unhindered and other Chagossian aspirations that do not involve permanent resettlement of BIOT.
I will keep the House updated on developments. Copies of the full report and accompanying annexes can be found online at: http://www.parliament.uk/writtenstatements