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Last updated at 14:26 (UK time) 23 Aug 2011

Working with the Overseas Territories

The UK's 14 Overseas Territories, spread throughout the globe, are diverse communities.They range from the island of Pitcairn with its 47 inhabitants, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to Bermuda, which has a population of over 62,000 and is one of the world's major financial centres. The total population of the territories is around 239,000.

The Overseas Territories are:

More information on each individual Territory can be found at the FCO Governors offices websites.

For advice on travelling to any of the Overseas Territories, please see our Travel Advice pages.

UK's relationship with the Territories

Our Overseas Territories are British for as long as they wish to remain British. The Overseas Territories are constitutionally not part of the United Kingdom. All of them have separate constitutions made by an Order in Council. All have Governors or Commissioners who are normally UK appointed Civil Servants. They represent both Her Majesty the Queen in the Territory; and represent the Territory's interests to HMG in London.

The Overseas Territories Directorate in the FCO takes the overall lead on managing the UK's relationship with its Overseas Territories, but all Government Departments have a responsibility towards the Overseas Territories. The FCO is planning to bring all aspects of the Government’s policies on the Overseas Territories in a new White Paper in early 2012. Our main objectives are:

  • To ensure the safety and security of the Overseas Territories
  • To ensure the good governance of the Overseas Territories
  • To promote and enhance the UK's role within the Polar Regions

More information on the Polar Regions can be found at Discovering Arctic and Discovering Antarctic. To obtain permits for travel to Antarctica.

The Department for International Development (DfID) provides budgetary support for Montserrat, Pitcairn and St Helena, as well as funding for various projects on other Territories.

If you have any comments or enquiries about the Overseas Territories (other than Gibraltar and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus), please contact:

Overseas Territories Directorate
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7008 2569

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