A look at the British Overseas Territories

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A look at the British Overseas Territories

Many people living in the UK often forget that Britain still owns territories overseas. As remnants of the British Empire, those territories fall under UK law, and share many similarities to British culture (albeit with often better weather.) These locations can be an excellent choice to move to for expats so we take a look at the territories with the biggest populations.

Bermuda

The island of Bermuda is located to the east of the United States and is a taste of Britain in a tropical paradise.  Summers see temperatures rise to a hot 33.1 °C with winters being a pleasant 20 °C. Despite the pleasant year round temperatures, Bermuda is often in the path of hurricanes during the hurricane season.  Bermuda’s currency is the Bermudian Dollar which is pegged to the US Dollar with the US currency being interchangeable with the local currency. The islands economy is predominately comprised of international insurance companies and is used as a tax haven for wealthy Brits. The island attracts up to a million visitors every year.

http://www.bermuda.com/

British Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands are located to the east of Puerto Rico and make up part of the Virgin islands archipelago, the other islands are owned by the US and Spain. For expats looking for a Caribbean paradise this is the place for you. The islands follow UK law and as with Bermuda use Dollars as their currency. The capital of the territory is located on the island of Tortola. The biggest part of the economy is finance, and as a result the territory is a prosperous one. Tourism accounts for 45% of national income.

http://www.bvitourism.com/

Cayman Islands

Located in the western Caribbean, the Cayman Islands are another taste of paradise with a British feel. The territory is made up of the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. As with the previously mentioned territories, the Caymans main economic sector is finance with the islands being one of the world’s biggest offshore financial centres. The islands are tax-exempt making it a popular destination for the rich and famous. Legend has it that King George III rewarded the island with a promise never to introduce taxes as compensation for their generosity, as one of its ships carried a member of the King’s own family. The island is often in the path of tropical storms in hurricane season and took a battering from Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

http://www.caymanislands.co.uk/

Falkland Islands

The Falklands may be famous for the ongoing rivalry between Britain and Argentina but it is an island community that is starting to develop strongly. Unlike the other territories on the list the Falklands isn’t known for nice weather, instead due to its location in the South Atlantic strong winds and rain are common. With the prospect of oil being located in its waters the Falklands has the potential to become a very wealthy place.

http://www.falklands.gov.fk/

Gibraltar

The British territory closest o the UK is located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, and is often the centre of disputes between the UK and Spain. Britain uses the island as a key military location but the city of Gibraltar is like a piece of the UK in the sunny climes of Spain. The weather is often sunny, and is hot all year round. The economy of the island is mostly comprised of online games operators, financial institutions and tourism. A number of international companies are based on the territory making it a good place to find work for expats.

http://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/

Turks and Caicos Islands

This British Overseas territory consists of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the Bahamas. The territory’s economy is dominated by tourism and its reputation as an offshore financial centre. The population of the island is around 31,500 with 27,000 of those living on the island of Providenciales in the Caicos. The island temporarily had its self-governance suspended by the UK due to allegations of corruption but after an investigation and action taken self-governance was restored in 2012.

http://www.turksandcaicostourism.com/

As well as these six territories there are another eight, but those have very small populations. In the example of British Indian Ocean Territory it is inhabited by military personnel from the USA and UK at the base of Diego Garcia. The territory of Monserrat used to be fairly well populated before its volcano devastated most of the island and forced the islands depopulation.

Do you live on one of the British Overseas Territory’s? If so send us your experience via Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

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