HC Deb 05 February 2002 vol 379 cc732-4
13. Mr. Andrew Rosindell (Romford)

What plans he has to encourage celebrations of HM the Queen's golden jubilee year in the British overseas territories. [30494]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Ben Bradshaw)

Governors of the overseas territories have received guidance on arrangements for the Queen's golden jubilee. It is for the Governments and people of the territories to decide how best to celebrate the jubilee. The best present for the overseas territories will be the British Overseas Territories Bill [Lords], currently going through the House; it gives the people of the overseas territories British citizenship, which the Conservative Government failed to do for 18 years.

Mr. Rosindell

I thank the Minister for his reply. Does he agree that the overseas territories have as much right to celebrate the Queen's golden jubilee as people living on mainland Britain? Is he aware that it is nearly 50 years since Her Majesty visited the British Crown colony of Gibraltar? Does he feel that the year of the golden jubilee would be an appropriate time for Her Majesty to visit Gibraltar? If not, perhaps an appropriate occasion would be the 300th anniversary of British sovereignty over Gibraltar, in 2004.

Mr. Bradshaw

We never comment on royal visits or where Her Majesty the Queen should or should not go, but she has asked that there should be no undue expenditure from public funds in connection with the jubilee. I would however draw the hon. Gentleman's attention to a number of the planned celebrations, including those on Gibraltar, where there will be a birthday parade and trooping the colour. Some territories will issue special commemorative stamps and many will have a public holiday. I am sure that the newly British citizens of the overseas territories will have a good time—an even better time than those back home.

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