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Ex cabinet minister proposes Gibraltar and Falklands should have elected MPs to Parliament after Brexit

Thursday, January 16th 2020 - 08:59 UTC
Full article 13 comments
“They would send MPs to the Westminster parliament here; they would have their own devolved governments like the Welsh Assembly or the Scottish Parliament” “They would send MPs to the Westminster parliament here; they would have their own devolved governments like the Welsh Assembly or the Scottish Parliament”
“It would show that we are committed to being a global nation post-Brexit,” said John Penrose, Weston-super-Mare MP “It would show that we are committed to being a global nation post-Brexit,” said John Penrose, Weston-super-Mare MP
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering the Boundary Commission’s proposals for changing the shape and size of constituencies to fit such a blueprint. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering the Boundary Commission’s proposals for changing the shape and size of constituencies to fit such a blueprint.

A former Cabinet Office minister said British overseas territories such as Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands should be able to elect MPs to Parliament after Brexit. John Penrose wants the 14 overseas territories, which include the renowned tax-havens the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, to be able to negotiate devolution arrangements similar to that enjoyed by all four countries within the UK, and also elect MPs to Westminster.

“They would send MPs to the Westminster parliament here, they would have their own devolved governments like the Welsh Assembly or the Scottish Parliament,” the Weston-super-Mare MP told The House magazine.

“It would show that we are committed to being a global nation post-Brexit.”

Mr. Penrose made the intervention despite being a supporter of redrawing the electoral map to ensure each constituency has an electorate of no fewer than 71,000 people.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering the Boundary Commission’s proposals for changing the shape and size of constituencies to fit such a blueprint.

Gibraltar, a British outcrop in the south of Spain, is home to around 34,000 people, and the Falkland Islands, situated off the coast of Argentina, has a population of approximately 3.600.

A devolution settlement and representation in the House of Commons could aid trade arrangements after Britain leaves the European Union, the Remain-backing Mr Penrose argued.

The former Northern Ireland minister suggested sought-after goods and foods, such as lobsters from Tristan da Cunha, could enter into the UK internal market with fewer restrictions if a devolution arrangement was in place.

“It just makes the trading ties and links between our respective parts of the UK a great deal simpler, a great deal more friction-free,” Mr. Penrose said.

The Conservative MP denied the move could be seen as akin to empire-building by Britain.

“People might make that argument but because we are offering and suggesting that these territories become equal parts of the United Kingdom, it’s hard to make an imperialist argument about this at all,” the backbencher said.

“It is clearly something that is talking about equal status.”

A spokesman for the UK Overseas Territories Association told the Westminster magazine it was “unaware of any formal” talks between the Government and the overseas territories over the prospect of electing MPs to Westminster.

Top Comments

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  • Roger Lorton

    47,000,000 Argies ? Completely irrelevant Think. The archipelago has nothing to do with Argentina. The islanders will decide. Not Argieland. Mind your own business.

    ;-)

    Jan 16th, 2020 - 01:56 pm +4
  • Islander1

    Think,
    We are British Territory anyway- British Overseas Territory - with our own internal self government- even if you folks don't recognise its existence - so already “devolved” far more than what this guy is suggesting.
    The British bit in our description is not going to change now or in the future- unless there is a majority HERE who vote to do so- and that is pretty unlikely anytime in the next generation or two -

    Jan 16th, 2020 - 12:12 pm +3
  • Roger Lorton

    Dialogue, MoreCrap? What's to talk about? Not sovereignty for certain. That question was resolved in blood.

    Jan 18th, 2020 - 04:59 am +3
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