The United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Malta

In 1956 a referendum was held in the then British colony of Malta to decide whether Malta should be integrated fully into the United Kingdom and become the fifth constituent nation of the UK.
It was proposed that a number of seats be added to the House of Commons in Westminster to represent new parliamentary constituencies on Malta. The Home Office was to take over responsibility for the island from the colonial office while foreign affairs, defence and eventually direct taxation were to become the responsibilities of the British government. The Maltese parliament would continue to exist and would be responsible for internal affairs on the island such as education. Effectively Malta would be come a devolved nation within the UK similar to modern day Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Despite the referendum returning a result of 77% in favour of becoming part of the United Kingdom this never came to pass for a number of reasons.
The main opposition group had led a boycott of the referendum meaning that a significant proportion of the islands population hadn't voted rendering the result inconclusive as as overall less than half (44%) had voted in favour thus undermining the results legitimacy to a degree.
In the Britain there was considerable unhappiness in the Treasury about the financial cost of following though with the proposals and the possibility that other colonies such as Nigeria may seek similar status including representation at Westminster.

These concerns were never satisfactorily addressed meaning that proposals for integration never came to anything. Malta would go on to become a Dominion in 1964 and ultimately an independent state in 1974.

What if the British government had instead put its worries to one side and accepted the result of the 1956 referendum leading to Malta becoming part of the United Kingdom soon after?

How would Malta being part of the UK have affected Britain culturally, financially and politically?

Would Malta still be part of the UK today?
 
As much as Malta and Gibraltar would be interesting twists, the one that always excited me is Singapore....
 
In 1956 a referendum was held in the then British colony of Malta to decide whether Malta should be integrated fully into the United Kingdom and become the fifth constituent nation of the UK.
It was proposed that a number of seats be added to the House of Commons in Westminster to represent new parliamentary constituencies on Malta. The Home Office was to take over responsibility for the island from the colonial office while foreign affairs, defence and eventually direct taxation were to become the responsibilities of the British government. The Maltese parliament would continue to exist and would be responsible for internal affairs on the island such as education. Effectively Malta would be come a devolved nation within the UK similar to modern day Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Despite the referendum returning a result of 77% in favour of becoming part of the United Kingdom this never came to pass for a number of reasons.
The main opposition group had led a boycott of the referendum meaning that a significant proportion of the islands population hadn't voted rendering the result inconclusive as as overall less than half (44%) had voted in favour thus undermining the results legitimacy to a degree.
In the Britain there was considerable unhappiness in the Treasury about the financial cost of following though with the proposals and the possibility that other colonies such as Nigeria may seek similar status including representation at Westminster.

These concerns were never satisfactorily addressed meaning that proposals for integration never came to anything. Malta would go on to become a Dominion in 1964 and ultimately an independent state in 1974.

What if the British government had instead put its worries to one side and accepted the result of the 1956 referendum leading to Malta becoming part of the United Kingdom soon after?

How would Malta being part of the UK have affected Britain culturally, financially and politically?

Would Malta still be part of the UK today?
A really interesting scenario.
The only really significant impact domestically I think would be that Malta may be as popular a retirement and holiday destination for Brits as Spain has been. It may even supplant Spain in fact.
 
Well, I would assume that ITTL that aside of a Royal Navy base in Malta and a bigger presence in the Mediterranean... I think, that the UK could have followed with a lot more of attention the Libyan (and, even if a lesser degree, the Sicilian, one too) political situation and/or any potential development that could be deemed as 'potentially dangerous'...
Also, would be possible that perhaps, ITTL, given that Malta is part of the UK and ruled by the British Sovereign, that TTL, the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign military Order of Malta, could have been elected among the British Royals?
 
Well, I would assume that ITTL that aside of a Royal Navy base in Malta and a bigger presence in the Mediterranean... I think, that the UK could have followed with a lot more of attention the Libyan (and, even if a lesser degree, the Sicilian, one too) political situation and/or any potential development that could be deemed as 'potentially dangerous'...
Also, would be possible that perhaps, ITTL, given that Malta is part of the UK and ruled by the British Sovereign, that TTL, the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign military Order of Malta, could have been elected among the British Royals?

Wouldn't you need to be Catholic?
 
Despite the referendum returning a result of 77% in favour of becoming part of the United Kingdom this never came to pass for a number of reasons.
The main opposition group had led a boycott of the referendum meaning that a significant proportion of the islands population hadn't voted rendering the result inconclusive as as overall less than half (44%) had voted in favour thus undermining the results legitimacy to a degree.
Well, that didn't stop a certain other referendum from going ahead. (sorry if straying too close to current politics, just pointing out the irony of it)

Could that then lead to other locations, such as Cyprus, Singapore etc from wanting their own referendums and then joining the UK? Both gained independence in the late 50's/early 60's, so could be influenced by this vote
 
What if the British government had instead put its worries to one side and accepted the result of the 1956 referendum leading to Malta becoming part of the United Kingdom soon after?
The people responsible for the boycotts would be angry and would try to derail the process, no doubt helped by the racists who don't want it to set any precedents. So the integration bill dies in Parliament..
Wouldn't you need to be Catholic?
Problem already taken care of. What could work would be greater cooperation between SMOM and the chivalric order, with the religion issue side-stepped.
 
As much as Malta and Gibraltar would be interesting twists, the one that always excited me is Singapore....
Wouldn't work, as they always saw their future as being bound up in union with Malaysia, not the UK. Even with Malta, I don't think it would apply in this case.
 
Wouldn't you need to be Catholic?
Would seems so, though in OTL, they were offered by Sweden, to cede them Gotland island in place of Malta and they. Also, had an Priorat in Russia. But, even if the British royals can not be elected, I would assume that the UK government would want a that British national and/or that that only could be elected/appointed approved candidates...

Also, perhaps, I'm wrong, but I tend to think that in London wouldn't be much will to allow the extraterritoriality of an independent Catholic order in one of the UK's constituent countries even if this one would be a Catholic one...
Finally, the join to the British union, as one of their kingdoms/principalities of a Catholic one, as would be Malta, would cause that now an Anglican Sovereign would be the Head of State of a Catholic one, that also, is the seat of a traditional Catholic military order... Thus, I would assume, that it'd be requiring a bigger and close political relationship with the Papacy than OTL...
 
A great lessoned learned from the failure of imperial federalism to materialize, is sometimes the metropole doesn't want to annex or integrate territories. There doesn't appear to be any statistics on whether Brits wanted integration, which would affect the possibility of a law being passed to implement integration or if integration happened, the unpopularity of such an annexation could lead to it only being part of the country for a short time.

And it seemed a unpopular among the government, as would be very expensive and set a precedent for other colonies. Which is interesting, because would that mean Britain would have to accept integration of colonies if they voted for that?
 
Also, would be possible that perhaps, ITTL, given that Malta is part of the UK and ruled by the British Sovereign, that TTL, the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign military Order of Malta, could have been elected among the British Royals?
Wouldn't you need to be Catholic?
Katherine, Duchess of Kent converted to Catholicism in 1994 and there's Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz better known as Princess Michael of Kent. However, both of them became Royals by marriage.
 
A really interesting scenario.
The only really significant impact domestically I think would be that Malta may be as popular a retirement and holiday destination for Brits as Spain has been. It may even supplant Spain in fact.
Yes but there would have to be limits due to the islands carrying capacity (especially with how many British there are in places like spain and such from the early 00s).
Best thing might be to make it so when retired die the inheritirs have to either sell up to other retirees or pay taxes/such.
 
Malta would have been entitled to three seats in the House of Commons as well, which could have had an impact on elections like those of 1964 and 1974 (Feb and Oct) where a handful of seats made the difference
 
Malta would have been entitled to three seats in the House of Commons as well, which could have had an impact on elections like those of 1964 and 1974 (Feb and Oct) where a handful of seats made the difference
Might also have changed it from a Liberal democrats and conservative coalition in 2010 to a Labour-Liberals-Greens coalition, which was attempted but quickly aborted IOTL.

Also, With the three MPs could have made it so the 2017 Conservative party arrangement with the DUP (317 + 10 out of 326 required for a majority)never happened as they would come just short of the required amount, leading to a version of Brexit where the UK never left the common market.

Overall though I would think an increased Mediterranean focus would be a big deal. For example, the UK would be directly exposed to the refugee crisis just like malta IOTL and would also probably fear climate change and rising water slightly more.
 
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