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B1190 - Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies Referendums Bill 2017 Watch

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    Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies Referendums Bill 2017, Rt Hon Jammy Duel, MP


    Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies referendums Bill 2017

    A bill to provide referendums for the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies the option to become a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

    1: Territories in which referendums shall be held
    (1) The British Overseas Territories in which referendums may be held shall be:
    (a) Anguilla;
    (b) the British Virgin Islands;
    (c) the Cayman Islands;
    (d) Montserrat;
    (e) Gibraltar
    (f) Turks and Caicos Islands;
    (g) Bermuda;
    (h) the Falkland Islands;
    (i) Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
    (2) Crown Dependencies in which referendums may be held shall be:
    (a) the Isle of Man;
    (b) Jersey;
    (c) the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

    2: The Referendums
    (1) Referendums to be held on whether the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies should become parts of the United Kingdom;
    (2) These referendums shall happen on 12 October 2017;
    (3) Referendums shall only be held in territories where the legislature approve the referendums before 1 September 2017
    (4)The question that is to appear on the ballot paper is:
    "Should [name of territory or Crown dependency as according to Section 1] become a part of the United Kingdom?"
    (5) The alternative answers to that question are to appear on the ballot papers are:
    (a) for Overseas Territories:
    "Join the United Kingdom
    Remain a British Overseas Territory"
    (b) for Crown Dependencies:
    "Join the United Kingdom
    Remain a Crown Dependency"
    (6) Those entitled to vote in the referendums are any persons who, on the date of the referendum, would be entitled to vote as electors in the elections for the legislature of the Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency;

    3: New Constituencies
    (1) Should the Isle of Man vote to become a part of the United Kingdom the "Isle of Man" constituency shall be formed with the same boundaries as the existing Crown Dependency;
    (2) Should Jersey vote to become part of the United Kingdom the "Jersey" Constituency shall be form with the same boundaries as the existing Crown Dependency;
    (3) Should the Bailiwick of Guernsey vote to become a part of the United Kingdom the "Bailiwick of Guernsey" constituency shall form with the same boundaries as the existing Crown Dependency;
    (4) the Boundary Commission for England shall draw up boundaries for the Overseas Territories for all possible outcomes to be published 20 October 2017;
    (5) Elections for any new constituencies shall be held on 30 November 2017 in accordance with United Kingdom electoral law;

    4: Renaming and accession to the Union
    (1) Should any Overseas Territory vote to become a part of the United Kingdom the nation shall be renamed the "United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and Territories Overseas";
    (2) Any Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies that vote to become parts of the United Kingdom shall join the Union on 1 January 2018

    5: commencement and extend
    (1) This Act extends to all overseas territories and crown dependencies whose local legislatures approve this Act before 1st September 2017;
    (2) The provisions of this Act come into force 1st September 2017.
    (3) This Act may be cited as the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies referendums Act 2017.

    Notes
    This bill serves several purposes. The primary motivation is to provide the people of Gibraltar a means to not only reject Spanish sovereignty over the Territory but become fully fledged members of the UK and removing Gibraltar from the EU negotiating cards once and for all, and similarly for the Falkland Islands with Argentina. It also extends the right of self determination to become a part of the UK to all permanently inhabited overseas territories and crown dependencies, except for the Indian Ocean Territory and territories on the Island of Cyprus which are both under military administration, and the Pitcairn Islands. While there is, to my knowledge, no strong movement for accession in any of these territories it also makes clear that we will not turn out backs on them should they wish to do so, unlike Malta in 1963.

    With regards to constituencies there are 512 possible outcomes for the Overseas Territories, hence why the boundaries are left to be announced after the referendums in the bill. Supposing all territories were to vote to join the UK I would envision 3 constituencies from the Overseas territories:
    1- Gibraltar and the South Atlantic: Gibraltar, the Falklands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristain da Cunha
    2- Caribbean Islands- Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat
    3- North Atlantic Islands- Turks and Caicos Islands, Bermuda



    Speaker's note: This does not legislate for an actual referendum on TSR
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    Aye, but the bill should include details on the Parliamentary representation overseas territories may have if they opt to join the United Kingdom.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    Aye, but the bill should include details on the Parliamentary representation overseas territories may have if they opt to join the United Kingdom.
    What do you mean?
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    What do you mean?
    In section 3 if an overseas territory elects to join the United Kingdom, giving each overseas territory Parliamentary influence would bring them closer, help stem any movements calling for independence, and lead to a hawkish foreign policy because they would prioritise hard power to protect their lands.
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    Aye.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    In section 3 if an overseas territory elects to join the United Kingdom, giving each overseas territory Parliamentary influence would bring them closer, help stem any movements calling for independence, and lead to a hawkish foreign policy because they would prioritise hard power to protect their lands.
    They have a seat in Parliament?
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    They have a seat in Parliament?
    They do not, nor does this bill change that.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    They do not, nor does this bill change that.
    It seems, sir, that you asked the wrong question. You asked what happens to those who join, not those who do not.
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    I would expect every one of the places concerned would vote no by a large margin because their taxes would increase.
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    No, I don't see any reason for overseas territories or Crown dependencies to be invited join the UK.

    I also find it a little bit bizarre that the bill when it refers to drawing new boundaries also invites them to become part of England.
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    I don't often say this for a Jammy Duel bill but this is really good and I wholeheartedly support the notion.
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    Not sure how I feel about this abstain for now
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    Aye.

    Just to annoy the Argies.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    It seems, sir, that you asked the wrong question. You asked what happens to those who join, not those who do not.
    If the overseas territories opt to join, there is no process for deciding if they will be given MPs, how many MPs they will have, or what their powers will be, section 3 does not legislate for overseas territories who opt to join the United Kingdom.
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    I would expect every one of the places concerned would vote no by a large margin because their taxes would increase.
    Just done a bit of reading, there would be no real change in overall tax in Gibraltar, just structure. Same goes for the Falklands, same goes for Anguilla. Bermuda is up a bit, on the other hand the Cayman Islands get a significant boost. Having looked I do not think your assessment is entirely fair, there is also the matter of things gained/
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    No, I don't see any reason for overseas territories or Crown dependencies to be invited join the UK.

    I also find it a little bit bizarre that the bill when it refers to drawing new boundaries also invites them to become part of England.
    The choice of England was largely based on Gibraltar already being part of England when it comes to European elections, it also makes no more sense to make it part of Wales, Northern Ireland, or Scotland and there is little point in setting up another commission for no more than 6 constituencies. I also can't say I;m surprised that it's a Labour MP that take offence to the idea, you are after all the party that lost Malta.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    The choice of England was largely based on Gibraltar already being part of England when it comes to European elections, it also makes no more sense to make it part of Wales, Northern Ireland, or Scotland and there is little point in setting up another commission for no more than 6 constituencies. I also can't say I;m surprised that it's a Labour MP that take offence to the idea, you are after all the party that lost Malta.
    That comment did make me laugh to myself.

    The overseas territories might be British (if not part of the UK), but they're not English any more than they are Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish. I'm hoping they would each be separate to all four Home Nations with generous devolution settlements.
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    That comment did make me laugh to myself.

    The overseas territories might be British (if not part of the UK), but they're not English any more than they are Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish. I'm hoping they would each be separate to all four Home Nations with generous devolution settlements.
    I would expect if this were to be done IRL there would be fairly heavy devolution given just how different and underdeveloped they are, not to mention how distant, perhaps similar to how the French do it, but I'll be honest and say I haven't looked into the way they do it, why would I, they're French.

    I shall say again regarding the commission though, there is no point setting up a commission for up to 3 seats that may not even need creating and England is the only one with current electoral ties of any form to any of the BOTs
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    I shall say again regarding the commission though, there is no point setting up a commission for up to 3 seats that may not even need creating and England is the only one with current electoral ties of any form to any of the BOTs
    The alternative is to establish seats (either in primary legislation or delegated to the government of the day) on a permanent basis, accepting the fact that whatever combinations are picked they are likely to remain much smaller than mainland seats.
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    The alternative is to establish seats (either in primary legislation or delegated to the government of the day) on a permanent basis, accepting the fact that whatever combinations are picked they are likely to remain much smaller than mainland seats.
    Actually the only problem with balanced seats is if we want to keep gibraltar and the south Atlantic separate, all the Crown Dependencies are basically spot on, certainly would be acceptable to have any variance beyond the guidelines as exceptions, and the Caribbean/North Atlantic BOTs together fairly nicely make two constituencies, the Caribbean one suggested in the notes having ~100k total population and Bermuda+Turks etc having ~96k It is just that 20k in Gibraltar, 2k on the Falklands, and 5k on St Helena etc that are a problem, mainly that 20k Gibraltar. The other issue is geography, but that is a separate issue and part of the reason I wanted to keep the South Atlantic separate from Caribbean in the hypothetical
 
 
 
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