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British Information Services in New York answers questions about Britain and provides up to date Government comment on current events involving Britain.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, at King Charles Street, London SW1 A2AH, England, telephone (011) 44-207-2701500 or fax 44-207-2702148 is the British Government department responsible for Bermuda's overseas relations and foreign affairs.

It has more tax powers in Bermuda than any of the devolved Scottish, Welch and Northern Irish parliaments and those of other, larger but less affluent BOTs.

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In Britain, the Queen reads the speech and in British Commonwealth countries, Governors or Governors General do.

His Excellency the Governor has his own Flag of Office.

Bermuda, only 21 square miles or 58 kilometers in total land area, differs from other BOTs in two main ways.

It is is the fourth oldest of all countries, islands and territories in the British Commonwealth of Nations after England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Canada.

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office ( FCO) administers Bermuda internationally but in all other matters Bermuda is a self-governing British Overseas Territory (BOT), 3,076 miles from London, one of the 14 BOTS worldwide. UK Statutory Instruments Applicable to Bermuda as a BOT. The FCO is represented in Bermuda by His Excellency the Governor and Deputy Governor, Government House, 11 Langton Hill, Pembroke HM 13. But in other ways, Bermuda benefits hugely from this, in ways far more strategically important as well as financial.

British officials in Britain and the USA are helpful in Bermuda's affairs.As a BOT, Her Majesty the Queen is Bermuda's official Head of State. which costs the Bermuda taxpayers million a year.The Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda (see next paragraph) is appointed by The Queen (on the advice of the British Government in London) after consultation with the Premier of Bermuda. It is for the upkeep of Government House and its 30-plus pristine acres and for the Governor and Deputy Governor's (both from Britain) salary and their cars, their security, their travel, their housekeepers, their domestic staff and their accommodation.It has passed all its own laws, many but not all modeled on British-UK laws since discovery and colonization in 1612.It alone, not Britain, can decide on all non-Bermudians who can enter, reside and if eligible and law-abiding, can get local citizenship, referred to as Bermuda Status, after 10 continuous years of marriage to and living with a Bermudian.However, under British-UK law, so long as Bermuda remains a British Overseas Territory, Bermudians can, on application, obtain automatic British-UK citizenship and passports and can come and go as they please between Bermuda and the United Kingdom.

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