The UK government will not be setting a deadline for Overseas Territories (OTs) to phase out what has been described as ‘discriminatory elements’ of their Belongership status.
The British government gave that indication while responding to a series of recommendations from the UK’s House of Commons and its Foreign Affairs Committee this year.
One recommendation suggested that the UK government set a timetable outlining when OT’s should implement a policy that will allow UK citizens who are ‘legal residents’ of an OT the ability to vote and hold elected office in that territory.
“The FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) does not plan at a future date to publish such a timetable,” government responded in a recent May 2019 report titled ‘Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the relationship: Government response to the Committee’s Fifteenth Report’
The said government suggested that it acknowledges why small-island territories might be reluctant to relax its Immigration and election laws to that degree.
“We understand the OTs’ concerns, sensitivities and historical background on this issue,” the UK government said. “Our vision for the OTs is as vibrant and flourishing communities, with the widest possible opportunities for their people.”
It continued: “We expect territory governments to meet the same high standards as the UK government in maintaining the rule of law, respect for human rights and integrity in public life, delivering efficient public services, and building strong and successful communities.”
“We will continue to support and encourage consistent and open political engagement on Belongership and its territory-specific equivalents, whilst respecting the fact that Immigration decisions are primarily a matter for OT governments,” the British government further said.
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