Give British overseas territories proper representation

During the campaign to leave the European Union a lot was said about strengthening ties with our Anglosphere cousins across the globe. Autonomously, we can now press ahead with those sought after free trade agreements with the rest of the world including the emerging countries like India with their 2.1billion customers and also positively take advantage of an Anglophile US president with their 350million would be customers.

Setting aside trade and foreign relations for now, look into our own affairs with our overseas territories. Other countries have territory off their mainland such as the United States with Hawaii and Alaska. Both Hawaii and Alaska are far away from mainland USA but both like the 48 states on the mainland have two senators representing the two states in Washington DC, and both have respective number of members of the house of representatives.

Both Hawaiian and Alaskan citizens are equal to the citizens on the mainland. All are protected under the same rule of law as well as having their own legal jurisdiction. Similarly, Greenland and the Faroe Islands are not part of Denmark, but they are part of the Danish Kingdom and thus have 2 seats each in the Danish Parliament.
The citizens off the mainland shores are not only protected by and subject to the law but are also equal in making that law. Is a Hawaii without senators and congressmen imaginable? Could citizens in Alaska be expected to conform to federal law without being part of that same law making process? No.
What about the United Kingdom? Why do we expect our fellow citizens to be subject to and conform to our law without giving them representation in our law making body? Such as the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Jersey, Bermuda and so on have no representation in parliament. People in Edinburgh or Cardiff live under the law of the land made in their own capital cities as well as being governed by the supreme legislature in Westminster. Some 500,000 people living in UK oversea territories became full UK citizens in May 2002 but have no representation within our legislature.
It is widely agreed that when power is repatriated from Brussels to London, powers will be devolved down to the assemblies then out to local authorities across the British Isle. With that, presents us with the opportunity to engage with our fellow citizens albeit thousands of miles away.
Gibraltar has around 40,000 people living in the UK territory and by approval, too. Some 98.97% of Gibraltarians agreed that they should be under full sovereignty of Britain and too in 2016 participated in the EU referendum. Similarly, in the Falklands 99.8% agreed to remain an overseas territory. Each of these small pieces of land are, literally, 100% happy by their own determination British. How on earth do 100% of citizens end up with 0% representation?


Kieran Munro is a political writer and Brexit campaigner.  He has Appeared numerous times on the BBC and STV. Follow him on Twitter: @Kieran0610

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The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty