Overseas territories

All Commons Briefing Papers
10 Documents
29.07.2016Disputes over the British Indian Ocean Territory: July 2016 update
This briefing describes the main developments since mid-2013 in long-running disputes over the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). A UK Government decision on Chagossian resettlement is pending. The status of the Marine Protected Area is contested. There has been no progress on sovereignty. Mauritius says it will seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice. The future of the US military base on Diego Garcia must be decided by the end of the year. Meanwhile, there continues to be litigation in the English courts.
17.06.2016Commons Library analysis: Shining a light on beneficial ownership: what's happening in the UK and elsewhere?
This Commons Library briefing describes measures being taken in the UK and elsewhere to make ownership of companies, land and real property more transparent.
20.05.2016Commons Library analysis: The international anti-corruption summit in May 2016
This Commons Library briefing discusses the international summit on anti-corruption held in London on 12 May 2016 and what so far has emerged from it.
22.05.2013Disputes over the British Indian Ocean Territory: a survey
Between 1968 and 1973 the British Government cleared the entire Chagos Archipelago of its inhabitants, opening the way for a US military base on the biggest island, Diego Garcia. The Archipelago was made a British overseas territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). Two main disputes have arisen from these events. One has been between the Chagos Islanders and the British Government over the legality of the former's removal and whether they have a right to return. The other has been between the UK and Mauritius about sovereignty over the BIOT. The UK has said that it will cede sovereignty to Mauritius once the BIOT is no longer required for defence purposes.
17.01.2013Antarctic Bill - Committee Stage
The Antarctic Bill is presented as a Private Member's Bill by Neil Carmichael MP. This note sets out the issues discussed in the Bill Committee on 21 November 2012. These included: the timing of the enactment of the provisions relating to the liability annex, compatibility with existing shipping liability provisions, and the wider issue of the future of the British Antarctic Survey.
31.12.2012The Turks and Caicos Islands
This note briefly reviews the crisis of political and economic governance which has affected the Turks and Caicos Islands since 2008. A period of direct rule came to an end when fresh elections were held in November 2012. Only time will tell whether the Turks and Caicos Islands are now set on a new course - and, if so, what that course is.
18.07.2012Antarctica: the treaty system and territorial claims
The unique treaty system that protects the Antarctic is constantly updated and sometimes challenged. A current Private Member's Bill would implement recent changes in the UK.
11.10.2006Gibraltar: diplomatic and constitutional developments
Gibraltar: diplomatic and constitutional developments. House of Commons Library Research Paper 06/48.
22.05.2002Gibraltars constitutional future
Gibraltars constitutional future. House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/37.
22.04.1998Gibraltar, the United Kingdom and Spain
Gibraltar, the United Kingdom and Spain. House of Commons Library Research Paper 98/50.