FCO says BOTs won’t be forgotten in Brexit

| 20/07/2016 | 5 Comments
Cayman News Service

(L-R) Donaldson Romeo, Premier of Montserrat; Roger Edwards, MLA Falkland Islands; Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar; Evans McNeil Rogers; Anguilla Minister of Social Development; Dr Rufus Ewing, Premier of TCI; Dr Orlando Smith, Premier of BVI; Michael Dunkley, Premier of Bermuda; Alden McLaughlin, Premier of Cayman Islands.

(CNS): Leaders from the British Overseas Territories meeting in the Turks and Caicos Islands this week heard that the UK will not forget them once it begins its negotiations to exit the European Union. Before the meeting got underway Richard Wood, the Head of the European Union Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, called Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, who led the Brexit discussion at this year’s pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting, to offer some reassurance about the uncertainties ahead.

Wood reportedly confirmed that the UK would ensure a consultative process would be put in place between the United Kingdom and the BOTs. The territories’ leaders have agreed that this is an important area that needs urgent attention and will be on the agenda at the full JMC later this year.

The concerns of individual BOTs vary but they are all agreed that much is still unknown as to what a final deal between the UK and the EU will look like and how it will impact its remaining colonies.

According to a release from the premier’s office about the first day of the meeting, concerns included security, free movement of people, potential impacts to business and trade, as well as any possible negative impact on the world economy.

Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin and other leaders are attending the annual JMC precursor, which this year is chaired by the TCI Premier Rufus Ewing. The opening address was delivered by Orlando Smith, the premier of the British Virgin Islands and chair of the Political Council of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA).

Before discussing Brexit, updates were provided on the work of UKOTA and the Overseas Countries and Territories Association. There was also a meeting with Secretary General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin Larocque.

Bermuda Premier Michael Dunkley led discussions on sustainable economic development, and Roger Edwards, a member of Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, led talks on the safeguarding of children. McLaughlin, supported by Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton, led the discussion on ‘Financial Services, Tax and Transparency – Addressing the Offshore Stigma and Counteracting It’.

“The day was productive with a good exchange of ideas and discussion of the challenges and successes of the overseas territories,” said McLaughlin.

The meeting continues Thursday and is an opportunity for all BOT heads of government to exchange views on political and constitutional issues, especially as they relate to the United Kingdom and its relationship with the overseas territories.

The 2016 Joint Ministerial Council hosted by the FCO is set to take place in London from 31 October until 4 November.

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Category: Caribbean, UK, World News

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank Christ we don’t have to see Alden, Kurt, McKeeva or Ezzard in these frightening Bermuda shorts. I don’t think the world is ready for that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman citizens do not have freedom of movement because the reciprocal freedom of movement is not extended to the Cayman territory.

    • 345 says:

      Actually you are only partially right. With a Cayman passport you are limited. But, if you are a BOTC and get a UK passport you can currently move and work or study anywhere in the EU. Of course, the Brexit has jeopardized this.

      • Anonymous says:

        So what you mean is that the poster was right. Cayman citizens do not have rights, UK citizens do.

  3. Anonymous says:

    At present The Cayman Islands are not eligible for a territorial allocation under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) but can access the regional cooperation budget for the Caribbean as well as financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB), horizontal EU programmes and thematic budget lines.

    The Cayman Islands are not eligible for bi-lateral funding from the 10th EDF. However, they do benefit from a 10th EDF €15 million regional allocation to Caribbean OCTs which is financing a programme to stimulate the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The programme includes technical assistance for capacity-building and helps fund the participation of OCTs in parallel regional initiatives.

    Cayman Islands are also eligible for funding under a €10 million European Investment Bank (EIB) credit line for small and medium scale projects in Caribbean OCTs.

    Additionally Cayman citizens are counted as EU citizens and presently enjoy the right to work, study and live in any of the EU countries under freedom of movement rules.

    Caymanians might wish to reflect that they may now lose these advantages.

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