UK MP repeats call for BOT representation

| 13/12/2017 | 34 Comments

(CNS): The British Conservative MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee and is a long-time advocate for the interests of British Overseas Territories, has repeated his call for better and equitable representation for those territories. Speaking recently at a dinner for the Friends of the British Overseas Territories (FOTBOT ) in London, Rosindell said it was time that all BOTs are treated as equal partners in the British family, making the case for one UK government minister to deal with all issues relating to BOTs and for “overdue parliamentary representation”.

Rosindell, who chairs the FOTBOT and sits in a senior position on the various committees relating to the British territories, said it was wrong for them to be dealt with by the British Foreign Office because they are not foreign, according to reports from his supporters who attended the dinner.

Despite his embrace of Britain’s former colonies and his calls to bring them closer into the British family Rosindell is an enthusiastic Brexiteer and even campaigned at times for Brexit in the referendum alongside some of the UK’s more extreme right wing political characters, such as Graham Williamson, a former member of the National Front.

Nevertheless, Rosindell has been a long-time advocate for the rights of BOTs and supports more equity for them as well as more streamlined governance.

Most of the British Overseas Territories are dealt with by Lord Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth at the Foreign Office, while three are dealt with by Sir Alan Duncan, Minister for Europe and the Americas, and the Crown Dependencies fall under Dominic Raab, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice. The Lord President of the Privy Council, Andrea Leadsom, also has a responsibility for the Crown Dependencies, meaning that four ministers have roles regarding the territories, which commentator and Rosindell supporter, Anthony Webber, said has led to a lack of continuity and real cohesion in policy.

Rosindell has called for the territories to be dealt with by a single UK government department and recognised as equal members of the British family, and when disaster strikes in the territories, as it did this hurricane season, the British government should act as they would for a natural disaster in the UK. He said it was wrong that there was such a slow response to the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and commended the Cayman Islands for its quick support for the impacted islands.

Rosindell argues that with the move to devolution in the UK, it was important all parts of the British family have equal rights to vote for their own representatives in the national UK Parliament and BOTs should have MPs. He has called for legislation to allow that representation but in the meantime they could be given representation in the House of Lords, the UK’s upper chamber.

The Conservative politician and his supporters in the UK and across the territories believe that when the House of Commons debates and decides on all national and international matters, as well as issues which affect the territories, the citizens should have the right to elect constituency MPs, as is the case in the French, Danish and Dutch overseas territories.

The UK House of Commons has 650 constituency MPs for a population of 65.6 million people, while the population in the primary 14 BOTs and the Crown Dependencies is around 500,000 citizens. Rosindell and Webber believe nine parliamentary seats should be created with constituencies based on UK population electoral commission guidelines:

They have suggested that Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man and the Caribbean territories of Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos should have one MP each, while the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Montserrat should have a shared representative, as would be the case for Gibraltar, Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas and British Indian Ocean Territory, and another seat for St. Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha, Pitcairn Islands, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and British Antarctic Territories.

All that needs to be done, Webber has stated, is for the UK government to approach the British territories to submit names of people to be considered for membership of the House of Lords and for a parliamentary bill to allow for the new BOT constituencies in time for the next UK General Election.

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Category: Politics

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As a brit and a guest at your table I would take this with a pinch of salt, unlikely to happen and I’m not sure the will is really there in the U.K. And here to really push this on I can’t really see what the benefits would be.

  2. ANON says:

    Great idea but of course you do realise I would then get a vote here and not have to go through the work permit pantomime. Roll on the Dutch and French model. The thought of one MP in exchange for the great unwashed currently on the dole in Bognor and Hastings pitching up on SMB would make the best telly ever…be careful what you wish for because one day we will walk away.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There’s another post along these lines and you are right – this isn’t what it seems. It’s not a way for the Cayman Islands to participate in UK politics but a cunning ploy to open the doors for UK citizens to settle here. If look at the French example you don’t even have to be a French citizen to settle in their overseas territories with nothing more than minimal formalities.

  3. Unison says:

    Parliamentary Representation in the lower chamber (not just the House of Lords) to replace the Foreign Office, is, I must say, a very imporatant move towards unlimited democracy in the Cayman Islands. Either we are treated more fairly, or we seek another soveriegn power to make alliance with or rule over us … we can’t continue singing “God save the Queen,” and have a limited democracy like a dog on a leash in the hands of “foreign” ministers (excuse my symbolic choice of words) ?

    But a fair representation of these islands, I understand, would mean Caymanians for the first time, will be able to participate in UK elections. We will have a minister to represent us, added to the family of the 650 existing MPs in the lower house. The Caymanian defender will debate issues for our cause, will oppose rediculous laws like those from the EU, and he or she will challenge anyone in the UK government that wants to do us harm and see to the demise our financial industry. MPs will also be able to form committees on issues that effect us as a BOT…

    Such a move advocated by FOTBOT, would strengthen our bond with the UK, which I would wholeheartedly prefer, rather than us move towards a responsible independence or an alliance with another power. I think it would be in the UK’s interest to secure these islands for financial and banking purposes. Even the Queen has made her mark, i.e., Paradise papers ?✌

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    • Anonymous says:

      If we participate in their elections don’t you think they will want to participate in ours? You better rethink that one my dear.

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      • Unison says:

        My understanding is, this would be in accordance with protecting our culture and identity.

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      • Unison says:

        * But come to think of it, Caymanians would benefit if restrictions blocking UK citizens from coming here were lifted. The value of all local properties would go up, and the easy access of Caymanians getting jobs elsewhere in the UK. And do we really need government to preserve Caymanian culture? I don’t think so. Have you seen them preserve anything ???

        Of course, it would require a referendum votefrom us to make Cayman parallel like any other constituency in the UK ?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just how are you treated unfairly? You wanted your own government, you got it. Don’t blame the UK for the messes they make.

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      • Unison says:

        Cayman Islands Constitution 2009, Part IX, 125, states ~ “There is reserved to Her Majesty full power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Cayman Islands.”

        In other words, fairness should always imply a respect for all the laws that are made by our elected Legislative Assembly. I am afraid, the FCO has used the phrase “for the peace, order and good government” to override our body when it seems fit for their special interest. Hence, we have a “limited” democracy whereby any official can cry corruption as an excuse to dissolve our elected parliament.

        So do you see why having representation in the UK House of Commons would be a FAIRER deal? ?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    If mother wants to lend a hand in an emergency, or during recovery she is already welcome to do so. Nothing stopping her from being on the ball and showing up to do her part. She must however, leave us to our own self-determination and not interfere or necessitate 9 useless House of Lords positions. What a wasteful bureaucratic nightmare that would be.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I sincerely hope neither the Premier nor any other politician or friend of a politician is lobbying for that. We don’t need a seat at that table. Remind me again what benefit we will derive from sitting in that chair? We need to start having conversations about our destiny when we have to take a step or two forward with out them. We need to be prepared for the tough choice we might have to make somewhere in the future.

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      • Unison says:

        Tell me, if we leave the UK, what other nation will tolerate us a seat at the table of their parliament? ?

        At least, I see a ray of hope, a better advancement in FOTBOT’s recommendations for us – if made law

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    • Anonymous says:

      Of course, when the hurricane comes everyone will be crying out for mother but just like any teen we think that we can go on our own without her, while I acknowledge that eventually we should all move out of mother’s house perhaps our infancy is a bit early?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman is simply not big enough, nor does it have adequate size population to go it alone. Who will defend you, should you be attacked? Would you trust local judiciary and police and the police not to become more akin to Jamaican or Venezuela style policing?

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  5. Anthony Webber says:

    Some interesting comments here

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    • Anonymous says:

      Independence nuts who think they will somehow profit or benefit from actually putting people like Alden and Mckeeva in charge (with no training wheels)

      And the people who are cautious of the outcome of severing ties with what has been at worst a livable arrangement with our colonial Overseers

      In this case I’d side myself with the “ain’t broke, don’t fix it crowd”

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Okay, all sounds fair until you factor in BOT MP’s voting on UK domestic matters when UK MP’s can’t vote on CI domestic policy. The treatment of the DOE/NCC is a case in point, will the UK stop Alden and his Neanderthal friends from destroying our island?
    Perhaps we should lobby Mr Rosindell to put unrelenting pressure on the CIG to improve and pay for commitment to protecting the environment.
    It is time to get the UK to stop any repeal of the NCL before it’s too late.
    The UK Government are currently making commitments to protect the Marine environment and all animals, we should grasp this opportunity to ensure we are heard and that UK interests are not undermined by knuckle draggers who think more about money and personal wealth than the world around them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It wouldn’t be too different to what happens where Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland have their own internal parliaments and are also divided up into constituencies for representation in overall Parliament

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      • Anonymous says:

        1:33 It’ll be nothing like the regional assemblies. The bottom line is if this happens the media and the voters in the UK will demand a quid pro quo. One factor in that could be the lifting of all residents’ requirements for UK citizens. In fact I’d bet that’s what Andrew Rosindell is really angling for. There’s a hidden agenda here – this doesn’t make any sense at all.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The UK Parliament has the power to enact imperial law applicable in all the BOTs. Isn’t that enough?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Representation = taxation.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    LOL, as a born Londoner I always thought Romford was an Overseas Territory 🙂

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  9. Datisme says:

    Queue the usual Whodat rhetoric…

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