Constitutional reform focus of premier’s UK trip

| 11/06/2018 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Governor Anwar Choudhury, Lord Ahmad, Premier Alden McLaughlin and Minister Robin Walker at Lancaster House in London, July 2017

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin is currently heading a delegation on a trip to London, where he and his officials will be meeting with fellow overseas territory leaders and British government representatives to discuss a number of issues, with constitutional reform at the top of the agenda. McLaughlin said the territory leaders always meet ahead of the Joint Ministerial Council. “This year top of the agenda is our constitutional relationship with the UK, which I lobbied to get added to the agenda following the recent vote in the House of Lords regarding the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill,” he said. 

On Monday he and Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers and other members of the delegation were due to meet with Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, the UK minister responsible for the British Overseas Territories (BOTs) to talk more about constitutional reform and the controversial public registers of beneficial ownership.

On Tuesday the premier will chair a meeting with the BOT leaders from Anguilla, Bermuda, BVI, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos to discuss hurricane preparation, response and mitigation. This is a follow-on to the meeting that took place in November 2017 in Miami. Disaster management is a key topic for the BOTs following the devastating storms last year that affected several of Cayman’s sister British Overseas Territories.

“We will look at local disaster preparedness as well as regional support from our Caribbean neighbours, including the Dutch and French territories as well as improved support from the UK, should disaster strike,” McLaughlin said ahead of the trip.

They will also talk about constitutional reform and the impact on those territories in particular of the House of Commons vote leading to the demand for public registers from the UK.

Then on Wednesday, 13 June the territory leaders will meet at Church House in Westminster for the official annual pre-JMC meeting ahead of the full Joint Ministerial Council in November. The pre-JMC allows the BOT leaders to agree their key agenda items for those discussions. There will also be a report provided by the UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) on their work over the past year.

According to a release, the meeting will also include talks on climate change, the UK’s “blue belt” initiative that promotes marine conservation zones in the United Kingdom and BOTs, and hurricane preparedness.

On Thursday morning the delegation will attend the annual meeting between BOT leaders, UK ministers and officials on the Brexit negotiations with the EU. This special JMC meeting dealing with EU negotiations (JMC OT EN) is an opportunity for the UK and BOT leaders to discuss how decisions made will affect trade and the economy, citizens’ rights, border arrangements and the legislative provisions for an exit from the European Union. Prior to the Brexit talks, the JMC OT EN will examine possible constitutional reform within the territories. The UK minister, David Lidington, will lead the discussions. Also to be discussed is disaster management.

Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose, Chief Officer in the Financial Services Ministry Dax Basdeo, Senior Political Advisor Roy Tatum, Sherpa Jason Webster and Personal Assistant to the Premier Jana Bush are also in the delegation, which is expected back in Cayman on Friday, 15 June.

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Category: Politics

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    can you immagine a Politician in charge if our Judiciary and police force???? Lord help us!!!???

  2. Anonymous says:

    As a British citizen I ask the UK government not to entertain these requests at reform until there is meaningful reform of basic political rights in Cayman to reflect the very significant transfer of power that is being sought.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ah dear chap, nice to see you and your entourage. Just sort out the public registry and then call back.

  4. cess pita says:

    I’m glad to see that Alden has not elected to take a personal driver from the Port Authority with him (assuming that Jana is not filling this role).

    • Anonymous says:

      He has his “sherpa” for that. I would worry about qualifications though given the lack of mountainous terrain in Cayman. Hope he has been training on the Brac

  5. Anonymous says:

    Waste of time and funds. In the meantime, Mr. DG, do keep the peasants amused, and give out some more government awards for mediocrity, will you.

  6. Cayman Rising says:

    Reform without the peoples mandate another trip of the peoples dime for nothing .

  7. Anonymous says:

    Someone has to be paying these wasters’ wages?
    I mean did the BFQ reconcile it’s differences with the KDW and were we able to meet our commitments with the HSW?
    Politicians and diplomats are a massive drain on the public purse, especially in such a small jurisdiction.
    Whenever I see these junkets, I cringe.
    What the hell was I thinking? I could have been a civil serpent and be living the bloody life of Riley by now…
    Lol. Does anyone have Riley’s number?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if Uncle Bulgaria was there?
    Perhaps he could send us some help with the garbage problem.
    Useful chappies, those Wombles.


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