List of countries that have gained independence from the United Kingdom
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This is a list of countries and territories formerly ruled or administered by the United Kingdom or part of the British Empire, with their independence days. Some countries did not gain their independence on a single date, therefore the latest day of independence is shown with a break down of dates further down the page.
A referendum in Scotland on 18 September 2014 offered independence, asking 'Should Scotland be an independent country?'; 55.3% of voters voted against.
Territories excluding Dominions
|Country||Date||Year of Independence||Notes|
|Antigua and Barbuda||1 November||1981|
|Australia||1 January||1986||Australia Act 1986|
|Barbados||30 November||1966||Barbados Independence Act 1966|
|Belize||21 September||1981||September Celebrations of Belize|
|Canada||1 July||1982||Canada Act 1982|
|Cyprus||1 October||1960||16 August 1960, but Cyprus Independence Day is commonly celebrated on 1 October.|
|The Gambia||18 February||1965|
|Grenada||7 February||1974||Independence Day (Grenada)|
|India||15 August||1947||Independence Day (India)|
|Ireland||29 December||1937||Proclamation of the Irish Republic commencing the Easter Rising on 24 April 1916 led to a civil war which resulted in the formation of the Irish Free State. Only country to ever secede from the United Kingdom proper.|
|Malaysia||31 August||1957||Hari Merdeka
Singapore gained independence from Malaysia on 9 August 1965.
|Nauru||31 January||1968||Independence from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand on 31 January 1968.|
|New Zealand||6 February||1986||Constitution Act 1986|
|Pakistan||14 August||1947||Yaum e Azadi
Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971 (recognized in 1974).
|Papua New Guinea||16 September||1975||Independence gained from Australia the administering power.|
|Qatar||3 September||1971||Qatar National Day|
|Saint Lucia||22 February||1979|
|Samoa||1 January||1962||Independence granted by New Zealand the administrative country.|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||19 September||1983|
|Sierra Leone||27 April||1961|
|Solomon Islands||7 July||1978|
|South Africa||11 December||1961||1931 adoption of Statute of Westminster. Not a public holiday. Union of South Africa formed on 31 May 1910 and Republic declared on 31 May 1961 and left the British Commonwealth on the same day.
Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990.
|Sri Lanka||4 February||1948||4 February 1948, Sri Lanka had their independence. After nearly 150 years of the UK ruling the country. Gained independence as the Dominion of Ceylon|
|Somaliland||26 June||1960||Gained Independence as part of Somalia. Unrecognised independent state declared in 1991 during the crisis in Somalia covering the same territory as British Somaliland as the Republic of Somaliland.|
|Sudan||1 January||1956||South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011.|
|Trinidad and Tobago||31 August||1962|
|United Arab Emirates||2 December||1971||National Day (United Arab Emirates)|
|United States||3 September||1783||Fourth of July. Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776. Independence achieved de facto 1781, and de jure 1783.|
|Vanuatu||30 July||1980||Independence from United Kingdom and France in 1980|
|Yemen||30 November||1967||South Yemen 1967|
Evolution of Dominions to Independence
|Country||Date of Dominion Status||Date of adoption of the Statute of Westminster||Date of final relinquish of British powers||Final Event in question.||Other important Dates|
|Australia||1 January 1901||9 October 1942 (effective from 1939)||3 March 1986||Australia Act 1986|
|Canada||1 July 1867||11 December 1931||17 April 1982||Canada Act 1982||Canada Day|
|Ireland||6 December 1922||11 December 1931||29 December 1937||Constitution of Ireland 1937||Republic of Ireland Act 1948 came into force on 16 April 1949 with Ireland leaving the British Commonwealth.|
|South Africa||31 May 1910||11 December 1931||21 May 1961||South African Constitution of 1961|
|New Zealand||26 Septembe 1907||25 November 1947||13 December 1986||Constitution Act 1986||Declaration of Independence of New Zealand 1835, Treaty of Waitangi 1840|
Countries or territories that have rejected independence
|Country||Date||Year of rejection||Notes|
|Scotland||19 September||2014||In the Scottish independence referendum, 2014, voters rejected the offer of independence from the United Kingdom, making Scotland the only known country to reject independence and choosing to remain a part of the Union.|
- Commonwealth of Nations
- Foreign relations of the United Kingdom
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Special Committee on Decolonization
- "United Nations Member States". Un.org. Retrieved 4 November 2008.