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British Overseas Territories: Self-determination of States

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 33851, tabled on 13 April 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will take steps to support the principle of self-determination and the right of the British Overseas Territories to remain self-governing dependent territories as long as their inhabitants wish to remain so; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

20 April 2016

Support for the principle of self-determination is at the heart of the UK’s relationship with its Overseas Territories. It is a modern relationship based on partnership, shared values and the right of the people of each Territory to choose to remain British.

The Government continues actively to support the rights of the peoples of the Territories to self-determination: diplomatically (for example when UK sovereignty is challenged at the UN) and in terms of our security guarantees. The Strategic Defence and Security Review published last year emphasised that the Government’s most important duty is the defence of the UK and the Overseas Territories.