Spaces of concern: Parliamentary discourse on Britain's overseas territories.
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This article explores discussion of Britain's overseas territories in the UK Parliament. It provides quantitative and qualitative analyses of Hansard from the start of the Coalition Government in 2010 until the prorogation of Parliament in 2017, identifying dominant concerns regarding financial transparency, sovereignty disputes, and whether Parliament should legislate for the territories. The character of debate on the overseas territories suggests first that they occupy a particular and equivocal “space of concern” within the national legislature, and second that this attention often intersects and overlaps with a focus on other places and spatial scales in which concern for the overseas territories is sometimes secondary or subsumed. This discourse highlights uncertainty and questioning over the nature of the overseas territories’ relationship with the UK. The inclusion of the affairs of distant territories within national political discourse provides a rich and unique example of the disjunction between sovereignty, state and territory, and highlights the ongoing complexity and ambiguity of the UK's political geography.
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