Equality and Human Rights Commission tells PACAC “There needs to be a change of attitude and practice across both HM Government and the UK Civil Service”
In April 2023 a House of Commons committee started an inquiry into the relationship between the UK and the Overseas Territories. The original deadline for written submissions on this relationship was September last year. So far, 73 submissions have been published by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) and the deadline for submissions has been extended; it remains open and has no revised deadline specified.
In their submission, the SHEHRC wrote it believed that the people of St Helena need and want a shift towards greater autonomy and freedom of their rights to self-determination and to have all the same Human Rights and fundamental freedoms as their fellow British Citizens living in the UK. Their submission added, “It further believes that the current constitutional arrangements are not facilitating that aim. There is clear evidence in the recent Governance Review to show that the current constitutional arrangements are colonial & obsolete.” Developing the point, the SHEHRC added, “St Helena is proudly British and wishes to be accepted as British. Its citizens are entitled to British Passports, the same rights and protections as British people living in mainland Britain. They expect to be treated as British when it comes to state pensions whether they are living in the UK or St Helena. There needs to be a change of attitude and practice across both HM Government and the UK Civil Service”.
IF BRITAIN TREATED ITS OVERSEAS TERRITORIES AS BRITISH, NOT FOREIGN, MOST OF THE ISSUES WOULD RESOLVE THEMSELVES. SHEHRC
Other submissions from other Overseas Territories included similar views.
This is an extract of the full report to be published on Friday 5th January in the St Helena Independent