Over the years, the British have acknowledged regret over the eviction of islanders from Diego Garcia. Despite this, they have constantly disallowed them to return to the island. In addition, nothing has been said with regards to when the islands would cease to be a military base and be returned to Mauritius. In 2000, the British High Court ruled the expulsion of the islanders to be an illegal act, and gave the Chagossians the right to return to all islands in the archipelago and be granted UK citizenship. Yet, this was stopped by the British Labour government with the power of the Royal Prerogative, and essentially prevented the islanders from ever going back to Diego Garcia, on grounds that a feasibility study conducted suggested this move would be too costly.
Displaced and exiled to Mauritius and Seychelles, the islanders found themselves jobless, homeless, and eventually poverty stricken without any medical or job search assistance from the British.
In 2010, the British government declared the territories to be the “Chagos Marine Protected Area”. While the move has made the United Kingdom a leader for marine protection (Chagos Island is one of the world’s largest marine reserves), it can be interpreted as a way to ensure the islanders will never be allowed to resettle on the Chagos islands.
At the same time, it continues to function as a military base. In 2016, the US renewed its lease to occupy Diego Garcia for another twenty years.