Friends of the British Overseas Territories

Friends of the British Overseas Territories (FOTBOT) is a charitable and youth organisation based in the United Kingdom that seeks to raise awareness of the fourteen British Overseas Territories (BOTs) by promoting their culture, history and bio-diversity. As an educational charity, it facilitates visits to BOTs for mainland British students, and has also pledged to alleviate certain financial constraints faced in the UK by students from the BOTs themselves. Such efforts are supported by regular fundraising activities, as well as through the backing of several prominent British politicians.

Friends of the British Overseas Territories
Flag of the Friends of the British Overseas Territories.svg
Flag of Friends of The British Overseas Territories
AbbreviationFOTBOT
Founded2013
FounderPhilip Smith
TypeCharitable organisation
Registration no.1156763 (England and Wales)[1]
FocusBritish Overseas Territories
Location
Area served
United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories
Websitefotbot.org

Founded in Leeds by sole Chief Executive, Philip Smith, in 2013, FOTBOT has since been consulted by various national media organisations on articles regarding British relations with its dependencies. At least two university associations have been founded in assistance of the organisation's objectives.

Foundation and developmentEdit

The organisation was founded in 2013 by Philip Smith, predominantly as a vehicle to foster ties between the young people of the United Kingdom and the sparsely located British Overseas Territories (BOTs), a group of 16 dependencies under the ultimate sovereignty and jurisdiction of the UK, having been former colonies of the British Empire.[2][3] Its headquarters are currently based in Leeds, a city in Yorkshire.[1]

Its unofficial flag, reminiscent of that of many BOTs and depicted only on membership badges, was the result of an internal design competition and is registered with the Flags of the World association.[4] Though falling outside of its stated charitable aims, FOTBOT is regularly consulted by media organisations regarding political developments in the BOTs. Instances have included an article published by The i, in which the charity expressed its disappointment that BOTs, excluding Gibraltar, would be unable to vote in the 2016 European Union membership referendum;[5] more emotively, FOTBOT were quoted in The Times as considering the British Government's 2018 motion to demand that the British Virgin Islands publicly declare the owners of its businesses as "bring[ing] in the feeling of a colonial master again".[6] Several politicians have declared their support for the organisation, including Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Andrew Rosindell,[7][8][9] former Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel,[10] and Julia Reid, a UK Independence Party (UKIP) Member of the European Parliament (MEP).[11] Historically, at least two student unions, at the universities of Cambridge and Newcastle respectively, have been affiliated with membership societies seeking to further the objectives of FOTBOT.[12][13]

ActivitiesEdit

Established foremostly as a youth organisation, FOTBOT have oriented much of their activities toward educating young people, a motivation that has facilitated short excursions for British students to BOTs, as well as for students from the BOTs themselves to visit other dependencies and study in the UK without undue financial burden.[14][15][3] In this vein, FOTBOT was partnered in a project headed by geographer Stewart McPherson, 'Treasure Islands', which "aim[ed] to showcase the wildlife, cultures and history of all of the UK Overseas Territories" by dispersing educative materials across the UK.[16]

As an organisation, FOTBOT host regular ticketed events that range from formal functions to round-table discussions surrounding the cultural and political situation of the BOTs; past committees have explored the possibility of BOT representation in the UK Parliament, as well as the challenges of day-to-day governance in British protectorates.[17][18]

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ a b "Friends of the British Overseas Territories". UK Charity Commission. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  2. ^ "What's left of the British Empire (and how to visit it)". The Daily Telegraph. 12 December 2017. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The Team". Friends of the British Overseas Territories. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Friends of the British Overseas Territories". Flags of the World. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  5. ^ Barker, Memphis (9 June 2016). "How Britain's Overseas Territories could vote in the EU referendum". The i. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Dominic (5 May 2018). "Keep your colonial nose out, British Virgin Islands warn". The Times. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Key Conservative MP calls for British Overseas Territories to have UK parliamentary representation". Gibraltar Finance. 24 July 2017. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  8. ^ "UK parliamentarian repeats call for British Overseas Territories representation in Westminster". Caribbean News Now. 13 December 2017. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Andrew addresses Friends of the British Overseas Territories Annual Summer Reception". Conservative Party (UK). 15 July 2015. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Great to welcome Philip Smith and Robert Midgley of Friends of British Overseas Territories to my office, along with my friend The Rt. Hon. Priti Patel MP". Twitter. 21 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Friends of the British Overseas Territories (FOTBOT) has awarded life membership to Dr Julia Reid". UK Independence Party (UKIP). 5 December 2016. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Societies Executive Committees Meeting" (PDF). Newcastle University Students' Union. 4 December 2017. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Friends of the British Overseas Territories (Cambridge University)". Cambridge University Students' Union. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  14. ^ "About". Friends of the British Overseas Territories. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Friends of the British Overseas Territories Visit Charles Gomez & Co". Charles Gomez & Co. 2015. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Project". Britain's Treasure Islands. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Should UK Overseas Territories have representation in Westminster?". MercoPress. 15 October 2015. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Tristan Representative gives FOTBOT Dinner Keynote Speech". Tristan da Cunha Government News Abroad. 19 December 2017. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.