The people of the Torks and Caicos Islands in the West Indies want to be free of British colonial rule like many other West Indian islands before them.
The people of the Torks and Caicos Islands in the West Indies want to be free of British colonial rule like many other West Indian islands before them. But they don't want independence - they want instead to become an extra territory or province belonging to Canada.
Only about 8,000 people live on this sparse and dry batch of sandpits and coral outcroppings. They become linked with Britain in 1776. In the early nineteenth century cotton plantations were started and slaves brought in form the United States. But the cotton crop failed and now only cactus blooms. The islanders scrape a meagre living form fishing, a bit of tourism and grants from London.
But they are desperately poor and the other small countries of the West Indies do not want to support them. The islanders hope the Canadians may provide the investment the British have failed to supply. They point to old trading ties with Canada - two thousand miles away.
At the moment the Canadian Government has come to no firm decision. The British Chief Secretary on grand Turk has said that he has no objections to such an arrangement.