Alternative History
British Overseas Territories
Timeline: Scotland says "Yes"
  British Overseas Territories
  Crown dependencies
Largest Settlements George Town, Gibraltar, West Bay
Official languages English, Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Llanito, Pitkern
Demonym British, Briton
Territories 14 Territories
 -  Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
 -  Total 1,727,570 km2 
667,019 sq mi 
 -   estimate 250,000 
Currency Various, including the euro, pound, US dollar, NZ dollar
Date formats dd/mm/yyyy (AD)

The fourteen British Overseas Territories (BOT) are territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom, but not part of it. They are those parts of the former British Empire that have not chosen independence or have voted to remain British territories. While each has its own internal leadership, most being self-governing, they share the British monarch (Elizabeth II) as head of state.

There were originally formed in 1983 as British Dependent Territories, replacing the British Crown Colonies. Apart from the British Indian Ocean Territory, British Antarctic Territory and the South Georgia and Sandwich Islands, the territories all have permanent civilian population.

Collectively there is a population of over 250,000 and land area of over 650,000 square miles.

Although the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, the Island of Man and the Northern Isles are also under the sovereignty of the British Crown, they are in a different constitutional status with the United Kingdom.

List of British Overseas Territories

Flag Name Location Motto Area Population Capital
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Akrotiri and Dhekelia Mediterranean (Cyprus) 255 km2 (98 sq mi) 14,000 (about half British military and staff) Episkopi Cantonment
Flag of Anguilla.svg
Anguilla Caribbean and North Atlantic Ocean Strength and Indurance 91 km2 (35.1 sq mi) 13,500 The Valley
Flag of Bermuda.svg
Bermuda North Atlantic Ocean Quo fata ferunt (Latin: "Whither the Fates carry [us]") 54 km2 (20.8 sq mi) 64,000 Hamilton
Flag of the British Antarctic Territory.svg
British Antarctic Territory Antarctica Research and Discovery 1,709,400 km2 (660,000 sq mi) 50 in winter; over 400 in summer Rothera (Main Base)
British Indian Ocean Territory Indian Ocean In tutela nostra Limuria (Latin: "Limuria is in our charge") 46 km2 (18 sq mi) About 3,000 UK and US military and staff along with civilian contractors from different countries. Diego Garcia (Base)
Flag of the British Virgin Islands.svg
British Virgin Islands Carribbean and North Atlantic Vigilate (English: Be Vigilant) 153 km2(59 sq mi) 28,054 (2010 census) Road Town
Cayman Islands Western Carribbean He hath founded it upon the seas 264 km2(102 sq mi) 56,732 George Town
Flag of the Falkland Islands.svg
Falkland Islands South Atlantic Ocean Desire the right 12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi) 2,955 (2006 census) Stanley
Flag of Gibraltar.svg
Gibraltar Iberian Peninsula (Continental Europe) Nulli expugnabilis hosti (Latin: "No enemy shall expel us") 6.5 km2 (2.5 sq mi) 28,800 (2005) Gibraltar (Westside)
Flag of Montserrat.svg
Montserrat Caribbean and North Atlantic Ocean A people of excellence, moulded by nature, nurtured by God 101 km2 (39 sq mi) 4,655 (2006 estimate) Plymouth (abandoned due to volcano—de facto capital is Brades)
Flag of the Pitcairn Islands.svg
Pitcairn Islands Pacific Ocean ' 43 km2 (17 sq mi) (all islands) 56 (2013) Adamstown
Flag of Saint Helena.svg
Flag of Ascension Island.svg
Flag of Tristan da Cunha.svg
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha South Atlantic Ocean Loyal and Unshakeable

Our faith is our strength

420 km2 (162 sq mi) 5,530 Total

4,255 (Saint Helena only; 2008 census) 1,275 (Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; estimates)

Flag of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.svg
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Atlantic Ocean Leo terram propriam protegat (Latin: "Let the lion protect his own land") 4,066 km2 (1,570 sq mi) 99 (none permanent) King Edward Point
Flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svg
Turks and Caicos Islands Lucayan Archipelago and North Atlantic Ocean Beautiful by nature, clean by choice 430 km2 (166 sq mi) 32,000 (2006 census estimate Cockburn Town

Relationship with the United Kingdom

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has the responsibility of the BOTs, apart from Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence.

The territories have no representation within the House of Commons, but have informal representation throgh the All-Party Parliamentary Group, and it can petition the UK government. Gibraltar also has an MEP in the European Parliament, which it shares with South-East England.

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs of the Territories are handled by the FCO in London, though some territories have diplomatic officers in nearby countries for trade and immigration purposes.

Several Nations dispute the UK sovereignty in the following territories:

  • British Antarctic Territories - Territory overlaps with claims by Argentina and Chile
  • British Indian Ocean Territory - claimed by Mauritius and Seychelles
  • Falkland Islands - claimed by Argentina
  • Gibraltar - claimed by Spain
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - claimed by Argentina


The defense of the British Overseas Territories is the responsibility of the United Kingdom, and many of the BOTs are used as military bases by the UK and its allies, such as British Indian Ocean Territory, Gibraltar, and the Sovereign Bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.


Scrapped proposal of BOT Flags incorporating the new Union Jack design.

With the breakup of the United Kingdom, a series of alternate flags without the Scottish part of the flag were proposed, but it was decided to keep the current flags as the Union Flag has different cultural and symbolic meanings on them.