MP says BOTs should have representation at Westminster

| 07/10/2015 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell

(CNS): The Conservative MP for Romford in the UK parliament has suggested there should be representation in Westminster for Britain’s overseas territories. Andrew Rosindell, who chairs the Parliamentary British Overseas Territories Committee, has said that the onset of devolution meant it could now be argued that home countries such as Scotland have as much autonomy as some territories and dependencies, but they have the advantage of representation in Westminster.

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference this week, Rosindell said that the French, Dutch, and Danish overseas territories all had elected representation in the respective national parliaments but British territories do not. He said that not only should representation in the House of Commons be looked at but there was room to consider having members in the House of Lords, which could be easier to bring about. With over 830 members, Rosindell told a panel discussion at the meeting, it was only fair to allow some BOT and crown dependency members of the House of Lords.

The fringe meeting was hosted by the Friends of the British Overseas Territories (FOTBOT), which was created to bring together people from all the sixteen British overseas territories and to promote, support and increase awareness of them, according to Anthony Webber, a political analyst and independent commentator from the UK’s crown dependency of Guernsey who was at the meeting.

“Times have changed, the world has moved on, devolution has taken place, and it is only right that we should have our say in the British Parliament on matters such as foreign affairs and defence, and indeed any issues which affect us,” Webber told CNS. “I feel change is going to come and we need to be putting our own ideas forward about what sort of change suits us best.”

While the BOTs and crown dependencies have mixed opinions about full Westminster representation, Rosindell said he was pleased that at last discussion had started on the issue and that progress could now be achieved in that direction.

He also spoke about the impending referendum in the UK regarding European Union membership, which will have an impact on the UK’s territories, as many of them, including Cayman’s offshore sector, do business within the Union.

Rosindell steered through an amendment in the UK Parliament recently to ensure Gibraltar was included in the referendum process because, like the UK, it is technically in the EU. But the MP believes the other territories should also take part. The territories are all party to various agreements and laws which connect them to the EU via the UK and whatever the outcome of this referendum on Britain’s future in the European Union, the BOT’s will be bound by the result, so, the MP argued, it cannot be right for them to be excluded.

“There are people in all the BOTs and crown dependencies who have passionate views on both sides as to whether their jurisdictions should continue to have a relationship with the EU,” said Webber, as he pointed to the increasing benefit for territories and dependencies to become more involved in the political landscape and the debates in the UK to promote their interests and raise awareness among politicians.

He pointed out that some OTs and dependencies had stands in the main conference exhibition area at this year’s Conservative conference and in future OTs should consider a joint stand at these events to promote their cause.

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Category: Caribbean, Politics, UK, World News

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Get over yourself. Why in the Lord name should you be given a seat in the British Parliament? You don’t pay taxes there, I am baffled. On the other hand I would love to hear the bumbling maiden speech of what Cayman has to offer us UK citizens aside on being a place for the rich to squirrel their money away from tax enforcers in the UK. Oh and of course the Conservative Party is heavily financed by Cayman Hedge Fund Managers. There I have just lost my own argument!

    • Anonymous says:

      The obvious argument for representation is that the UK Parliament can make laws for us. On the other hand I believe it to be a Trojan Horse.

  2. Shhhhhhhh. says:

    There is a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association for Commonwealth countries, time for a British Overseas Territories Parliamentary Assoc. to represent the B.O.T.’s.

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    I say we send Donald Trump…

  4. Diogenes says:

    Lord Mac!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would rather have something like that than this stupid expensive London Office in London’s massively expensive real estate area and a Cayman Representative as we had in the past who did nothing-repeat nothing- but attend cocktail parties and other soirees at our expense. And I am not talking about Blencathra.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Key words , ” I feel change is going to come” This appears to be a chance to engage and be part of the process.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman would not have enough voters for a Parliamentary seat on its own even with the UK and Commonwealth citizens added in, especially when the number of seats is reduced to 600.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Representation without taxation. Sweet!

  9. expat says:

    Who do you think would pay for this? UK tax payers will have a field day with this if they are asked to stump up.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Surely this is an excellent opportunity to send the Father of the House off on a long, long, long sabatical.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If you pay me CI$250,000 a year in Cayman and my UK living expenses, then I think I could possibly consider doing that-not for my benefit you understand, but for the benefit of Cayman kind…Its a dangerous mission, but someone has to do it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    While I agree in principle with the representation of UK OT’s in Parliament (such as the French and Dutch models), there is no way in heaven that I would support that if it materialized tomorrow – not with the morons who we elect in every four-year cycle! Including the present set!

    They are embarrassing enough on the local scale – imagine sending ANY of them to Westminster??!!

  13. Free-Loader says:

    Members of Parliament are voted in by TAX-PAYING British citizens!

  14. Cay-Bot says:

    This is a Trojan horse designed to allow British citizens unfettered access to Cayman jobs and votes. Before we know it we’ll all be speaking English and eating sausages with our eggs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kirk-bots or other boys?

    • Anonymous says:

      The EU Parliament will bring about the free movement issue sooner than you might think. . . .

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be nice to hear some proper English. My son came home from school saying “chat” instead of “talk”. The Cayman dialect is bad enough now they are talking Jamaican patois, learning Spanish and soon they’ll be speaking Filipino and can’t remember how to speak proper English.

      • Anonymous says:

        @11:57am. Wow,what a bigot you are.

        • Anonymous says:

          1:55 am – truth hurts. All the PC idiots afraid to talk any more otherwise they’ll be thought of as bigots. Doesn’t change the truth that Caymanians are more extinct than the blue iguana and English is now the second language. Try going into a store and hearing the yelling of the different languages of the employees from aisle to aisle.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cay-Bot, no sausage sweetie until the equal rights LBGT law is passed. Shame, you seem like such a nice man.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bloody good idea Cay Bot. We’ll have this place sorted out in no time!!

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