Anguilla is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the Caribbean. It is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin. The territory consists of the main island of Anguilla itself, approximately 26 km (16 mi) long by 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its widest point, together with a number of much smaller islands and cays with no permanent population. The island's capital is The Valley. The total land area of the territory is 91 km2 (35 sq mi), with a population of approximately 13,500 (2006 estimate).
Anguilla is an internally self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom. Its politics take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic dependency, whereby the Chief Minister is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. As a dependency of the UK, the UK is responsible for its military defense, although there are no active garrison or armed forces present.
The United Nations Committee on Decolonization includes Anguilla on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. The territory's constitution is Anguilla Constitutional Order 1 April 1982 (amended 1990). Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the House of Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
Anguilla's thin arid soil is largely unsuitable for agriculture, and the island has few land-based natural resources. Its main industries are tourism, offshore incorporation and management, offshore banking, and fishing. Many insurance and financial businesses are headquartered in Anguilla. Anguilla has become a popular tax haven, having no capital gains, estate, profit or other forms of direct taxation on either individuals or corporations.
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