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Economic linkages with the US islands prompted the British Virgin Islands to adopt the US dollar as its currency in 1959.The British Virgin Islands comprise around 60 tropical Caribbean islands, ranging in size from the largest, Tortola, being 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide, to tiny uninhabited islets, altogether about 150 square kilometres (58 square miles) in extent.In 1968 the British Government issued a memorandum requiring that the postage stamps in the territory should say "British Virgin Islands" (whereas previously they had simply stated "Virgin Islands"), a practice which is still followed today.
Rainfall averages about 1,150 mm (45.3 in) per year, higher in the hills and lower on the coast.
Boris Johnson's visit to Tortola on 13 September 2017 during his Caribbean tour was intended to confirm the UK's commitment to helping restore British islands but he provided no additional comments on the aid package.
He did confirm that HMS Ocean (L12) was on the way to the BVI items like timber, buckets, bottled water, food, baby milk, bedding and clothing, as well as ten pickup trucks, building materials and hardware.
The British introduced sugar cane which was to become the main crop and source of foreign trade, and large numbers of slaves were forcibly brought from Africa to work on the sugar cane plantations.
The islands prospered economically until the middle of the nineteenth century, when a combination of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1834, a series of disastrous hurricanes, and the growth in the sugar beet crop in Europe and the United States In 1917, the United States purchased the Danish Virgin Islands for US million, renaming them the United States Virgin Islands.