Written statement to Parliament

Policy Review of Resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Publication of the report of the independent feasibility study on resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory by consultants KPMG LLP.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Main Building

Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mr Hugo Swire said:

I am writing to inform the House of the publication today, of the report of the independent feasibility study on resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) by consultants KPMG LLP. We particularly welcome the contribution of Chagossians and other interested parties here, in Mauritius and Seychelles, in developing the outcome of this factual study resulting in a credible, comprehensive evaluation of the practicalities and substantial challenges of possible resettlement. This is an important milestone, enabling interested parties with different perspectives to better understand the range of issues affecting any potential resettlement.

Whilst recognising the options in KPMG’s report are not exhaustive even for resettlement, the report provides a solid basis on which to begin our Policy Review. The government will need to consider carefully the study’s factual findings alongside a range of factors, including the history of the territory and its former population, ongoing costs and liabilities to the UK taxpayer, the ability of the military facility on Diego Garcia to operate unhindered and other Chagossian aspirations that do not involve permanent resettlement of BIOT.

I will keep the House updated on developments.

Further information

Read KPMG’s feasibility study on resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory: Feasibility Study Report Volume 1

Follow Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire on twitter @HugoSwire

Follow the Foreign Office on twitter @foreignoffice

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Published 10 February 2015