British Overseas Territories

House of Lords written question – answered on 18 December 2012.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of relations between the United Kingdom and each of the British Overseas Territories.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

This Government place a great deal of importance on their relationship with the British Overseas Territories. In our June White Paper we set out a positive vision for the Overseas Territories-of flourishing communities, proudly retaining aspects of their British identity and creating new opportunities for young and future generations. On December 4 and 5, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my honourable friend Mr Simmonds, chaired the first meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council between UK Ministers and political leaders from the Overseas Territories. Eight other UK Ministers participated in this and related meetings. At our meeting we agreed a communiqué setting out joint priorities and action points (a copy is in the Library of the House). These include working together to promote trade and investment between the territories and the UK, to build the capacity of the territory public services, and to protect the environment. We will work in partnership with Territory Governments on these and report progress to the next Joint Ministerial Council and to Parliament.

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