Former colonies face a change of name
Thursday 07 August 1997
She asked whether it was right to describe the places - the last of the former British colonies - as "dependent" and suggested a description such as British Overseas Territories might be more satisfactory.
"Our friends in the Carib-bean dislike the term British Dependent Territories enormously. If it causes anxiety and, frankly, not a little irritation, then it is something worth talking about," she said.
The current problems in the volcano-struck island of Mont-serrat had forced it to look to Britain for help. But Baroness Symons said some dependent territories were quite wealthy and "dependent" seemed a misnomer. Any alternative title would have to be discussed with those affected.
However, there was no suggestion the change would affect the territories' legal status. There has been pressure from some of them for residents to be given full British citizenship rights. A comparison is often drawn with France, which considers its dependent territories an integral part of the country.
But the Baroness dismissed the case for full British passports to be offered in place of the existing passports which do not allow people from the dependent territories to settle in Britain.
The issue was prominent in the run-up to the Hong Kong handover, when pleas to award Hong Kong citizens full British passports, rather than the little-valued British National (Overseas) passports, were rejected.
The dependent territories are: Gibraltar; Bermuda; Mont-serrat; Anguilla; Turks and Caic-os; Cayman Islands; the British Virgin Islands; St Helena and its dependencies;, Tristan da Cunha and Ascension Islands; the Falkland Islands; South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory and the Pitcairn Islands.
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
- 1 Sick elderly man makes 'complete turnaround' after emotional reunion with dog
- 2 Star Wars memorabilia dubbed 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 3 Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
- 4 Ebola cruise ship ‘in utter panic’ as Mexico and Belize refuse to let it dock
- 5 Death of northern white rhino leaves just six of endangered animals left in the world
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Permanent Year 6 TeacherThe job:This...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: KS1+KS2 Teachers required ASAP for l...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 2 Teacher The position is to wo...