This paper analyses the current state of relations between the United Kingdom (UK) government and its Overseas Territories, with a particular focus on the Caribbean territories, Bermuda and St Helena. Over the last two decades the general approach of successive UK governments towards its overseas territories and the decolonization agenda has remained fairly constant. Both Labour and Conservative administrations have made significant efforts to engage with the territories and offer them further, albeit limited, constitutional autonomy. Consequently, every territory under discussion here with the exception of Anguilla has adopted recently a new Constitution. But the UK has retained important powers of oversight, which it feels are necessary to make-sure its interests are properly safeguarded. Because of the constitutional model that the UK favours, and the lack of interest on all sides in moving towards either integration or independence, the territories remain on the UN list of non-self-governing territories. Rapid and fundamental change in the territories’ status is very unlikely, but initiatives such as political confidence-building measures, improving economic sustainability, and broadening political engagement can help advance the decolonization agenda, as set out by the UN.
Clegg, P. (2015, May). Taking stock of the decolonization agenda – The UK overseas territories (Caribbean, Bermuda, and St Helena): Current positions and future options. Paper presented at United Nations Caribbean Regional Seminar on Decolonization, Managua, Nicaragua