Chagossians and the Potential Resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory

This is an issue I have taken an interest in given the large community of Chagossians in Sussex. My parliamentary college, Henry Smith MP (Crawley) has championed their cause.

The Government, like successive Governments before it, has been clear that the manner in which the Chagossian people were removed from the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) in the 1960s and 1970s was regrettable and wrong.

An independent study by KPMG concluded that while resettlement could be practically feasible significant challenges - financial, legal, and social - remain. The Government is currently analysing the results of a recent consultation on the resettlement of the BIOT and Ministers will consider these alongside a range of options to address Chagossian aspirations.

The vast majority of Chagossians who took part in the consultation expressed their desire to return to the islands. However, there are others who are more interested in securing other forms of support in the place they now live. The Government is looking at what they can do for everyone, not just those interested in returning. The consultation also looked at what options might be available if full resettlement was not an option.

The Government is still considering its policy in this area and will announce developments to Parliament and the public in due course.