British Overseas TerritoriesTimeline: Scotland says "Yes"
British Overseas Territories
|Largest Settlements||George Town, Gibraltar, West Bay|
|Official languages||English, Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Llanito, Pitkern|
|-||Monarch||Queen Elizabeth II|
|-||Total|| 1,727,570 km2
667,019 sq mi
|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
|Akrotiri and Dhekelia||Mediterranean (Cyprus)||255 km2 (98 sq mi)||14,000 (about half British military and staff)||Episkopi Cantonment|
|Anguilla||Caribbean and North Atlantic Ocean||Strength and Indurance||91 km2 (35.1 sq mi)||13,500||The Valley|
|Bermuda||North Atlantic Ocean||Quo fata ferunt (Latin: "Whither the Fates carry [us]")||54 km2 (20.8 sq mi)||64,000||Hamilton|
|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)|
|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|
|Falkland Islands||South Atlantic Ocean||Desire the right||12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi)||2,955 (2006 census)||Stanley|
|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)|
|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)|
|Pitcairn Islands||Pacific Ocean||'||43 km2 (17 sq mi) (all islands)||56 (2013)||Adamstown|
|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)
|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|
|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 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.
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.