Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Overseas countries and territories

Delivered in Plenary - 14th March 2013

Mr President

The legacy of hundreds of years of European history dictates that there are many far away territories that still fall under the sovereignty of Member States. While not officially EU territory, they nevertheless deserve our political and financial support.

As the Parliament’s nominated representative for the British overseas territories, I have witnessed the competitive potential of these economies and seen how the EU might help and give some real value. Nevertheless, OCTs are not immune from the effects of the global crisis and we cannot dramatically increase our funding to them when mainland populations are experiencing severe spending cuts.

I greatly hope that the Tirolien report will emphasise strengthening the economic competitiveness and resilience and reducing the vulnerability of the territories and that it will also deliver development to these territories, which they need and deserve.

I was also proud of the Falklanders who showed their overwhelming allegiance to Britain in their referendum a couple of days ago, so ‘hands off’ to Argentina.