HC Deb 26 April 1999 vol 330 c35W
Dr. Marek

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons the White Paper on Overseas Territories did not propose the granting of full British passports to those Chagossiens who had British citizenship before being resettled. [82035]

Mr. Tony Lloyd

British citizenship did not come into being until 1 January 1983. The Ilois ( who were at that time citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies) left the Territory 30 years ago. We have to deal with the situation now; the vast majority of the Ilois are citizens of other sovereign states, (either Mauritius or the Seychelles), in addition to holding British Dependent Territory citizenship, and have been for a generation. This is in contrast to other British Dependent Territories citizens who are solely British.

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