Talk:Overseas territory of the United Kingdom

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Does anyone known if crown colonies are different than royal colonies? This is in reference to British holdings in North American in the 17th and 18th centuries. jengod 22:41, Feb 24, 2004 (UTC)

I've never heard the expression royal colonies. As I understand it, Crown colonies was the general name given to all colonies administered by the British government, such as the original six divisions of Australia, the various territories in the Caribbean, the original sub-divisions of South Africa, Singapore and elsewhere. Those who had not achieved independence were eventually redesignated 'dependent territories' under the Commonwealth. Agendum 00:26, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

There's some kind of difference between a Crown Colony and a plain old Colony. The distinction comes up in the history of British Columbia. The Colony of Vancouver's Island was established in 1849, the Crown Colony of British Columbia was established on the mainland in 1858. The two were amalgamated in 1866 and shared the Crown Colony title until 1871, when the colony joined Canada. There's a legal difference of some kind; what the Governor's powers are, perhaps (both Colonies had very unorthodox political cultures because of the dual role of Hudson's Bay Company boss held by the Governor, and because of the Governor's peculiar way of getting things done, esp. on the mainland). Skookum1 21:19, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

What exactly does list {Crowncolonies} here accomplish? --Jiang 20:40, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A consistent user interface within the topic, as I said in the summary. I thought that was the whole point behind them; otherwise we might as well replace them with categories. If you are researching British overseas territories, a consistent menu makes navigating easier. Also, I don't think aesthetics is a poor reason for keeping something at all. I'll turn the question around and ask how the template is detrimental to the page? (And, again, please don't flag disputed removals as minor). Rls 20:59, 2004 Sep 15 (UTC)

The consistent user interface here only applies to the article components within the template. This means the template belongs at the individual crown colony articles. This article is on crown colonies in general and is not on a crown colony so it is in different class than, say, the article on British Indian Ocean Territory.

The template is detrimental to the page because it is out of place and useless. It accomplishes nothing so it is a waste of space. --Jiang 00:45, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The consistent user interface here only applies to the article components within the template
Er, no. The general page is linked to by the template as well.
The general article is clearly part of the topic. I find this structure useful for browsing purposes; clearly others do as well since there are several other pages in Wikipedia with this format: e.g. Communities, regions and provinces of Belgium and States and territories of Australia.
I propose replacing the template on the grounds of precedence and that at the very worst it is only a block at the bottom of the page that does not even need to be scrolled past if it is of no use to anyone. Rls 23:18, 2004 Sep 16 (UTC)

Just because Belgium and Australia has it doesn't mean they're in the right. There is no such precendence. I would guess that most countries do not have such templates at the bottom of their articles. For example, political divisions of China has no template.

Although the general page is linked to by the template, the information contained within the template is already included in the article text. If you want to browse, you look at the list and browse from there. The template is only necessary elsewhere because it makes little sense to add a "list of crown colonies" at the bottom of each crown colony. Again, I don't see how this is in the same class as the individual crown colonies. --Jiang 23:27, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • It is still a precedent, even if there are conflicting examples. It shows that there is some disagreement on this issue, regardless of your assertions.
  • It is rather arrogant telling me how I should browse. I personally find it useful and others apparently do too.
  • The template is not necessary, but I am of the opinion it is helpful.
  • They are in the same topic, which I believe is the collection of what most readers of Wikipedia are interested in viewing in one session, not the same "class".
  • It is clear that we are not going to achieve consensus on this issue since you are simply restating your arguments. Will you concede that having the template on the page is not a problem or shall we seek comments from other users? Rls 01:23, 2004 Sep 17 (UTC)
I am still not of the opinion it is helpful and if it serves no purpose, I believe it does not belong. Proceed to solicit other opinions then. --Jiang 02:11, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

As per my comment in the section above (should I move it down here?) there appears at least in the history of my remote corner of the Empire to have been some kind of legal distinction between the status of a Colony and the status of a Crown Colony. The distinction here is that the Mainland Colony, as it's also known, was constituted as a Crown Colony, while "Vancouver's Island" was a Colony (er, um, maybe it was the other way around). The difference may have to do with the elected Executive Council on the Island and the appointed one that launched the Mainland, where Governor Douglas ruled autocratically. Part of the reason for this was the relative lack of British subjects on the Mainland at the time he declared the Colony - unilaterally, and also taking a step outside protocol by contacting Admiral Baynes at the British base in Callao, Peru, to give him a hand (Baynes declined, but eventually was sent there with orders from England in hand).

So Douglas had to appoint who was at hand, and there was no way to call an election, as he had been forced to do on Vancouver Island. That may have been part of the reason for the status and hence the title of Crown Colony, i.e. that it had been constituted by edict rather than by appointment, and the need to avoid responsible government, as such as it was in colonial councils, from functioning and getting in the way of consolidating the British grip on the until-then unincorporated but British-claimed territory, which until then had no legal land-law status within the Empire (the HBC had only a trading license, not title as they had had in the actual watershed of Hudson Bay). Ath the time of incorporation the Mainland was on the lip of American annexation and "something had to be done"; the constitutional difference between the two colonies might be at least partly a result of that.

So anyway, point is there's some kind of constitutional or legal difference between the two; when I find out more (it's in an old correspondence somewhere, from a friend who's a constitutional law expert/professor from years ago) I'll come back and put it here (discussion page; you tell me if it should go on the main page . . . ). But for now, that's my two bits.Skookum1 09:14, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Cayman not a stage 2[edit]

I am a citizen of Cayman and would just like to make a few comments about the information on this page. Our Executive Council (which was renamed the Cabinet in 2003) is elected from the Legislative Assembly, not appointed by the Governor. Elections are held every 4 years, although they can be postponed by the Governor (as can the prime minister of most parliamentary systems.) Also, I would say the term self-governing colony does apply to Cayman. The Governor hardly ever makes news, except when he is receiving a foreign dignitary, or little notices in the paper saying "H.E. The Hon. Gov. Bruce Dinwiddy, CMG will be away until the 23rd of November at a conference for colonial governors in Trinidad. The Hon. Chief Secretary James Ryan will preside as Acting Governor until His Excellency's return," for example." Another example is the recent spat over the EU Tax Savings Directive, to which the Government assembled a team that went to argue the Island's case at the EU Court of First Instance, with no direct involvement by the Governor. Yet another example would be the recent Euro Bank scandal, in which widespread public opinion in Cayman was to throw out our Attorney General, who is an appointee of the Governor. The Governor stood by him, but the Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in him, and he resigned soon after. Just a few examples of how Cayman does not directly fit the Stage 2 category. Also - I should note that there is currently a Constitutional Reform Committee which takes many of these events into account, and that there will be a general election in May in which one of the parties' major platform issues is further self-governance. Travisritch 04:23, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, good luck to you, Cayman Islanders, but your reference to "a conference for colonial governors in Trinidad" is bizarre and anachronistic. The Governors of Overseas Territories don't attend conferences in London, much less in independent Commonwealth countries, although they are summoned for meetings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. There is an Overseas Territories Consultative Council, which Chief Ministers, the Premier of Bermuda, and whatever the equivalent is in the Cayman Islands.

Quiensabe 2005-08-24 02:36 UTC.

Renaming the status[edit]

This article looks like it'd be a good a place to discuss the steps and when each of the territory was renamed from "colony"/"crown colonies" progressively to "overseas territory". I could only find out that the UK parliament voted in 1997 to rename all "dependent territories/overseas dependencies" as "overseas territories". But when was it enacted in each of the territory? --Kvasir 18:38, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

removed gender bias[edit]

I have editted the article to remove gender bias toward males. There have been many women who have served as Commissioners/Governors/Administrators. Among these is Louise Savill, a former BIOT Administrator and Deborah Barnes Jones, the Governor of Montserrat. I feel this male bias is disrespectful. - Hoshie.Crat 07:43, 16 May 2005 (UTC)


"Only in Malta was integration ever seriously considered by the British Government, in 1955, but this was later abandoned, while in Gibraltar it was rejected in 1976."

This seems like odd wording. If it was rejected in Gibraltar in 1976 it must have been seriously considered there also. The article says that in the case of Malta integration was considered by the British government, as if Gibraltar considered it themselves but the British government would not have obliged had they asked for integration. There was (and maybe still is, but I think it's defunct), in Gibraltar, an Integration with Britain Party, which even supplied the Chief Minister briefly in the early 70s. So, was integration ever on the cards for Gib or was it really only Malta? Either way, this ought to be clarified. (It's also interesting to note that while Malta went in a different direction and became independent less than 10 years later, Gibraltar is these days probably the most integrated of all British overseas territories, even participating in elections to the European Parliament as part of the South West England regional constituency. Were it not for Spanish objections, it would be quite conceivable that Gib could be given representation a Westminster constituency (although a relatively small one) and retain its House of Assembly as a kind of devolved Parliament, as in Scotland.) — Trilobite (Talk) 19:13, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

'Integration for Gibraltar was rejected outright by the UK in 1976' would probably a more accurate description. Roy Hattersley, then Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office visited the Rock and made it plain that it was a non-starter (as was independence). That has remained the case to this day. There is an Integration With Britain Movement, but the Integration With Britain Party is well and truly dead.
Yes, Gibraltar could be more securely attached to the UK in the way you suggest, like Ceuta and Melilla (claimed by Morocco) are with Spain, but it is unlikely. Although local politicians have expressed support for the idea of integration from time to time, even Peter Caruana, the incumbent Chief Minister, whose party's last election manifesto argued against it, most take the view that it's more trouble than it's worth, and the UK (or the FCO) won't agree to it. Quiensabe 2005-24-08 UTC 02:15

British overseas territories part of EU?[edit]

Could it be explicitly said whether British overseas territory are part of the European Union? --Abdull 21:52, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

See Special member state territories and their relations with the EU for full details. Anyway, here's the short version: Gibraltar is considered a part of the EU as it joined when the rest of UK did. All of other BOTs (including WSBA and ESBA) aren't in the EU. - Hoshie | North Carolina flag 07:56, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Gibraltarians - UK nationals for EU purposes[edit]

I have removed the comment "Gibraltarians are considered UK nationals for EU purposes".

It's a true statement - British overseas territories citizens (BOTCs) connected with Gibraltar are UK nationals for EU purposes, the only BOTCs to have that status on the basis of being BOTC.

However, since 21 May 2002, people in all other British territories bar the Sovereign Base Areas have full British citizenship which they hold alongside BOTC. So because of their British citizenship (and not because of BOTC), persons from Bermuda, St Helena, Cayman Islands etc are also UK nationals for EU purposes.

However the Overseas Territories other than Gibraltar are not part of the EU and do not vote in 'European elections'. JAJ 05:38, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Sovereign Base Areas[edit]

"The term "Overseas territory" has only been used since 2002 ... The term does not apply ... to the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus which are governed by the British military."

According to Schedule 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981, the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are a British overseas territory on the same basis as any other.

The fact that British overseas territories citizens solely connected with the SBAs are not entitled to British citizenship is irrelevant.

There's no reason I can see why they should be excluded from the article. JAJ 04:01, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I've updated the intro to take acocunt of that. The FCO also staes they are an overseas territory, although does not list them in the profile section. The SBA article best deals with their unqiue situation. Astrotrain 19:31, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Legally and constitutionally they are an Overseas Territory and it's best to mention them in this article. The two main differences I can see are: a. practical jurisdiction is exercised by the MoD rather than the FCO, and b. British Overseas Territories citizens from the SBAs are excluded from British citizenship under the British Overseas Territories Act 2002. JAJ 02:44, 12 February 2006 (UTC)


I removed the following from the end of the citizenship section:

Other uninhabited territories such as British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

I removed it because, obviously, it doesn't make any sense. If anyone knows what it's supposed to say, have at 'er. FireWorks 05:46, 11 February 2006 (UTC)