British Antarctic Territory

The British Antarctic Territory (BAT) is a sector of Antarctica claimed by the United Kingdom as one of its 14 British Overseas Territories, of which it is by far the largest by area. It comprises the region south of 60°S latitude and between longitudes 20°W and 80°W, forming a wedge shape that extends to the South Pole, overlapping the Antarctic claims of Argentina (Argentine Antarctica) and Chile (Chilean Antarctic Territory).

British Antarctic Territory
"Research and Discovery"
Anthem: "God Save the Queen"
Location of the British Antarctic Territory in Antarctica
Sovereign state United Kingdom
and largest city
67°34′06″S 68°07′33″W
Official languagesEnglish
GovernmentDependency under a constitutional monarchy
Elizabeth II
Paul Candler
 Deputy Commissioner
Jane Rumble
Stuart Doubleday
Government of the United Kingdom
Tariq Ahmad
1,709,400 km2 (660,000 sq mi)
Highest elevation
3,239 m (10,627 ft)
 Summer estimate
CurrencyPound sterling (£) (GBP)
Time zoneUTC-03:00
UK postcode
Internet TLD

The Territory was formed on 3 March 1962, although the UK's claim to this portion of the Antarctic dates back to letters patent of 1908 and 1917. The area now covered by the Territory includes three regions which, before 1962, were administered by the British as separate dependencies of the Falkland Islands: Graham Land, the South Orkney Islands, and the South Shetland Islands. The United Kingdom's claim to the region has been suspended since the Antarctic Treaty came into force in 1961, Article 4 of which states "No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica. No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim, to territorial sovereignty, shall be asserted while the present Treaty is in force." Most countries do not recognise territorial claims in Antarctica.[2][failed verification] The United Kingdom has ratified the treaty.

The territory is inhabited by the staff of research and support stations operated and maintained by the British Antarctic Survey and other organisations, and stations of Argentina, Chile and other countries. There are no native inhabitants. In 2012, the southern part of the territory was named Queen Elizabeth Land in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.

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