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Self-determination of States

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 134060, tabled on 6 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 December 2020 to Question 128714 on Self-determination of States, whether his policy to territories subject to the process of decolonisation also applies to territories not administered by the UK.

Answered on

11 January 2021

The UK Government supports the principle of self-determination, which is reflected in international law and applicable to all States. The application and exercise of that principle in non-self-governing territories that are not administered by the UK is, however, subject to the specific circumstances of each territory including its constitutional relationship to its administering power. As set out in my Answer of 16 December, the UK Government's responsibility is to ensure the security and good governance of the British Overseas Territories and their peoples. The UK and inhabited Overseas Territory governments remain in agreement that the Territories are internally self-governing and that the UK Government should retain responsibility for the powers necessary to uphold its constitutional obligations in the Territories.

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