EU exit provides chance to redo BOT relations, says UK minister

| 07/07/2016 | 19 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Premier Alden McLaughlin and BOT Minister James Duddridge

(CNS): James Duddridge, the British overseas territories minister who threw his support behind the campaign to leave the European Union, has told the Cayman Islands premier that the exit provides an opportunity for the UK to “recalibrate” its relationship with the BOTs. In a clear indication that the British government is going to be turning its attention to older Commonwealth ties as it turns its back on Europe, Duddridge said Whitehall was committed to involving and protecting the territories as it begins the negotiations to pull out of a 43-year relationship with its continental partners.

In a letter to Alden McLaughlin (see below) the junior Foreign and Commonwealth minister admitted that Brexit, which he had supported, presented a number of challenges.

It has become apparent over the last two weeks since the surprising referendum result that neither the government or those campaigning to leave the European Union had a plan to deal with an exit should the people actually opt to leave. While many British people have expressed post-referendum remorse, the UK government has accepted the result and has made it clear there is now no going back and the country will leave the EU.

Cayman, as a dependent territory of the UK, is also impacted once Britain leaves the EU. The freedom of movement among the once 28 member states, which was conferred on all EU citizens and extended to Caymanians, will be lost and the implications for the offshore sector are far-reaching, as are the wider global economic uncertainties created by the referendum result.

Concerned about the potential impact here, the premier spoke with Duddridge by phone a few days after the referendum result was revealed.

“We will continue to closely follow the political and economic discussions and developments as the United Kingdom divorces itself from the European Union,” he said in a release Wednesday. “We now have the verbal and written assurance from Minister Duddridge that he will continue to actively represent the interests of the overseas territories across the UK government and ensure they are fully considered.”

McLaughlin said that the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom would continue to maintain the excellent relationship “that has been forged between the two countries since the Progressives-led government took office”. It was because of that connection that he and Duddridge were able to have frank, honest discussions about Brexit, he added.

“We will continue to have discussions with the United Kingdom as the leave progresses,” the premier stated, noting that he would also discuss the issue with other BOT leaders during the week beginning 19 July at the pre-Joint Ministerial Council Meeting in Turks and Caicos.

Letter from James Duddridge to Cayman Islands Premier after EU Referendum, 5 July 2016

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Comments (19)

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  1. New opportunities for Cayman says:

    Time for Cayman to take up the chance to use this opportunity to get a seat for the Cayman Islands in the UK Parliament. If we take part in UK elections, we can influence more easily instead of relying on people like Lord Blencathra.

    It will also mean that one day, a Caymanian could become PM of one of the world’s most important nations..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Of course Duddridge is wittering nonsense. The Tory party are full of outdated naive nationalists who think that Britain is special and will be able to thrive having cut itself out of the largest single market in the world. So far since the Brexit vote they have managed to move the UK from the 5th largest economy in the world to the 7th largest, with plenty of signs that the fall will be even further. The UK will have less leverage globally now and that in turn will negatively affect the BoTs. As one obvious example, the EU blacklisting of OFCs will now be far more likely to extend to the Cayman Islands and stay extended to the Cayman Islands. The territory will find generally it will be far harder, slower and more expensive to obtain arrangements to facilitate the provision of funds and other corporate finance services. At least the UK will now provide cheaper offshore service labour because they have knocked off 20% of the value of their currency with the prospect of that only being the beginning of the slide of the pound. But while the poor of the UK are jobless and facing cost of living increases on food and fuel and the rich of the UK are paying more taxes to pay for the economic harm caused by Brexit, everyone in the UK will be given a Union Jack which they can wave every morning to remind them that the lying Pied Pipers of the Tory right have “given them their country back”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please, 10:49! Give it a rest. Project Fear is over now. You tried and lost. Let’s move on.

  3. Haranguer says:

    Back in luv again………

  4. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of the situation or the opportunity, the Government (present or future) will not have the vision to advance the Cayman Islands, in a manner that is advantageous to the people who call this place home. A few cosmetic changes to fool the ill-informed population.

    Not until Caymanians empower themselves with the necessary knowledge, will it get any better for all of us as a nation. Until this happen, Governements will continue to feed us manure.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen.

    • Rp says:

      Well said. We should have criteria in place for registered voters. Just like we do not allow children and criminals to vote, we should also not allow those with IQs less than 95 to vote. We should also have IQ requirements for political candidates. Just like we do not allow children and criminals to run for office we should also not allow people with inadequate IQs.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh Christ Rp! We can’t do that, bobo. That would reduce the number of “wotahs” in West Bay by more than a half and the number of candidates island wide by about 75%.

    • William Wallace Ebanks says:

      “You can take our freedom but you will never take our sense of entitlement”

  5. Anonymous says:

    We have a lot in common such as coming here as youngsters.
    The difference is that I do not think I am better than those who were born here.
    This is their place. We have other passports. I am longing for the day of innocence.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We don’t even want to be part of the corrupt UK, let alone the even more corrupt EU.
    We want self-determination.
    You know, when your wife says the in-laws will be staying and you were not consulted.
    People cannot be this stupid.
    Why invite someone into your house who will end up owning it? Insanity.

  7. Anonymous says:

    CNS – please note that only Caymanians who are full British Citizens have had freedom of movement in Europe. A BOTC passport affords no such freedom and may thousands of Caymanians are neither British or BOTC’s.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s strange, 4:05. Every one I’ve spoken to, including Brit bashers, has a UK passport.

  8. Unbelievable says:

    Funny how the Premier speaks about this great relationship we have with the UK. Did they consult us prior to launching this referendum? Did they have a plan ready in case it actually happened? Do they have any idea how much this will impact us? Are these stronger ties going to lead to more direct rule and income tax? The UK has participated in attacking our Financial Services and now The Premier says we must continue to trust and love them? I wonder if he has a clue what these people are capable of?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, you have your own parliament…and the EU means nothing here to you except visa free travel around Europe if you currently qualify for a UK passport. Why should we? 30,000 people would have made a difference? Half of them would know where it was and the other half wouldn’t care.

  9. Michel says:

    Recalibrate the relationships with B.O.T territories ? Hum…

  10. GT voter says:

    How do the PPM maintain the excellent relationship with the U.K. since the Progressive led government took office?

    Does that include selling out Caymanians and secretly agreeing or signing every agreement the UK demands of the Cayman Islands. So what is the secret to this positive relationship especially when the UK, we are told by the Progressives have threaten exercising Order in Council powers for financial services legislation and LGBT issues.

    Nothing in life is free everything comes at a price.

    • Anonymous says:

      GT Voter, go take a large dose of reality and realize that Cayman is a blot on the landscape for the UK…if you want the protection you obey the rules and have sensible government and fiscal policies…no secrets there. Just reality.

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