UK plans to remove nationality discrimination

| 05/06/2018 | 36 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): A committee of British MPs and peers has said that some applicants for British Overseas Territory Citizenship are still facing discrimination and it has recommended a number of changes to the British Nationality Act 1981 to remedy the issues. The changes could have repercussions in the Cayman Islands regarding the application process to become Caymanian and who in future may have a right to a British passport through Caymanian status. However, the premier refused to comment on this latest potential imposition from the UK and any discussions that may be underway.

The committee’s findings are focused largely on the issue of children whose parents were not married or where their mother, but not their father, was a BOT citizen, which Cayman has already addressed. But there are other issues that have been raised which may lead to changes that could see the process of application relaxed so that people who believe they have a right to be British are no longer required to provide references or prove they are of good character.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights in the UK parliament is urging the British government to correct all discrimination in the new legislation but it has said it will consult with the territories before it makes any changes with a “remedial order” for any areas in the law found to be incompatible with the Human Rights Act.

There has been no indication yet from the Cayman Islands authorities about what this means for the process here. On Monday, when CNS approached the premier for comment on the issue regarding its impact, he angrily refused to answer any questions and accused CNS of trying to undermine the 60th anniversary Coat of Arms celebrations.

The leader of the opposition, however, told CNS that he had some concerns about the potential changes, because he believes the UK government may be seeking to expand the act to grant the children of permanent legal residents, with no Caymanian relatives or connections, who are born in the territories the right to also apply, as is the case in the UK.

Miller pointed out that the percentage of the population in Britain that this applies to would be relatively low when compared to somewhere like Cayman, where, if the children of work permit holders or permanent residents were given rights, even when their parents do not have status, indigenous Caymanians could be overwhelmed, given that there are currently around 23,000 permit holders here.

The opposition leader said he was not averse to discussing the rights of children who are born here and grow up here, knowing nowhere else, but whose parents have never achieved status being given the opportunity to apply, but he said a blanket application to all legal residents could prove problematic.

The issue of references, he said, is also important and he would still want to ensure that anyone applying to be Caymanian through the British Nationality Act must demonstrate good character and provide references.

If the UK government confines its changes to clarifying the rights of  children born to one or more Cayman parents who are also British nationals and those who were not married, then there will only be a positive impact for local people who may have fallen through the cracks as children, as Cayman has already addressed the former gender and legitimacy discrimination.

Related article: Miller seeks speedy constitutional change

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Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We better start talking about how we are going to do our Cayexit because the UK is starting to flex their muscles and constitutionally we have still have to follow their orders..

    Slavery is not dead…Alive and well in the UK..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Too late, you are already swamped. Best try to catch up.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “On Monday, when CNS approached the premier for comment on the issue regarding its impact, he angrily refused to answer any questions and accused CNS of trying to undermine the 60th anniversary Coat of Arms celebrations.”

    Oh dear. I hope this is an exaggeration on the part of CNS, because if it isn’t it would reflect poorly on our Premier.

    When in a public position and one of power, you must be “think-skinned” and you must be open to questions and concerns from media companies as well as the general public. If you really have noting to say at the time, then politely say “no comment”. That’s all.

    • Kate says:

      I find that extremely disappointing if the Premier did in fact, respond in such a manner. He has in most part, carried out his duties with a certain amount of diplomacy, rather than being a bully, even though this has been interpreted as being soft. We do know that our associations some times have a way of influencing. Perhaps the Premier should become more aware.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or he’s a fraud who cannot accept that he does not have bowing at his feet. Doesn’t that remind you of the other guy who now props up the Premier?

    • Anonymous says:

      1.52pm “he angrily refused to answer questions”… we CAYMANIANS know exactly why!

  4. 8th says:

    Alden McLaughlin, Ezzard Miller and McKeeva Bush must be united and fight this issue as a prioritywhich will result in multi-generational Caymanians becoming minorities in their own country. The end game is total control by the U.K. and political control of the islands. Caymanians will end up like Native American people on reservations and become third class citizens due to an open border and lax immigration policies that protect new comers instead of prioritizing Caymans.

    • We are not talking about masses of strangers coming in to flood the respective islands, it is a very small percent of people with already deep connections to their fathers’ homelands by blood (“Jus sanguines”). We are not strangers, and in the pecking order, we are pretty high up on the list to belong. Please carefully examine the facts and merits of this matter before rejecting it outright.

      • 8th says:

        You are in denial or don’t understand the end game and objectives. Next steps are voting rights for all residents. After that it’s eligibility to hold public office. These discussions have been held repeatedly over the past twenty years by high powered non-Caymanians and organized labor groups from the Philippines who have lobbied the FCO and local government. Ask Premier McLaughlin and his predecessors McKeeva Bush and LOGB Kurt Tibbetts to publicly set the record straight once and for all instead of the secret meetings with persons and groups who are attempting to change Cayman to suite their agenda.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, you will have to live with it, it’s only a matter of time. You will never get rid of the outsiders. Tough luck for you, but on the other hand you could be in Venezuela or Haiti, or Jamaica.

        • Anonymous says:


        • Sound Frank says:

          All long-term residents SHOULD have voting rights and all naturalised / status holders SHOULD be eligible to hold office.

          • Anonymous says:

            Name the many countries in the world that allow this. I can think of only one, but I am sure there are others and it is not the big coutnries such as USA, Canada, UK – maybe soon, Australia, Russia, India, China, South Africa etc.

            • Jotnar says:

              Actually you can vote in the UK if you are resident and Irish or a Commonwealth citizen, and if you are naturalized you can run for Office- no generational requirements like here which even exclude some born Caymanians. And in the US the only office a naturalized immigrant can’t run for is the Presidency. So you are a bit off.

          • LBW says:

            Hmm 8:09 shoulda coulda woulda right now None of the above, ya understand, kapish. Sayonara.

  5. I would like to reassure the people of the Cayman Islands, and every other BOT of this critical point. We are one of the groups who has worked very hard to highlight the need to change this part of hurtful historical British nationality discrimination, which has been allowed to exist for many years since at least 1947 up to 2006, and even perhaps even further back. It is designed to get formal citizenship by descent recognition for children, who are now adults, born overseas (not in a territory, e.g. the USA), out-of-wedlock, to an unmarried British Overseas Territories father’s, who like their parents, were born in British Overseas Territories and have long-standing family descent connections to those territories. These are not strangers to your land! Respectfully, they are very much part of each island. Since 2014, the same category of children, now adults, whose fathers’ happen to be born in mainland UK have been given this right. The BOT children of descent were left out intentionally. So, you have the same British nationality law giving it to one group and not the other. It is demeaning to these children who already have suffered the indignity and shame of being branded less-than due to being born out-of-wedlock. These children of descent, like me, have done no wrong, and are simply denied the opportunity to be embraced and welcomed officially by their fathers’ home countries. I am quite sure in the eyes of Jesus; he would be embracing all children of descent no matter the marital status of their parents, he would not be rejecting them. It is so important because it denies a child of descent the ability to become fully engaged in their parent’s roots. Anyone born after 2006 does not have to go through this ignominy, as the law is in place to support them. We hope the good people of Cayman Islands and other BOT’s will see and recognize the need to support this vital act of justice & compassion. We all want to live in a world that is fair, right & respectful. More information can be found at our web site: We would be happy to answer any further questions.

    • We are not talking about masses of strangers coming in and flooding the respective territories, it is a very small percent of people with valid deep connections to their fathers’ homelands through blood (“Jus sanguines”). We are just another aspect of the diaspora, wanting to build our strong bond and connections with our country of descent.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Like the coat of arms is actually important?
    Even Meghan Markle has one.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is time for us to express our thoughts and opinions on the coat of arms. The pineapple should be removed and replaced with the turtle. We are no longer under Jamaica, so, why have the pineapple? Jamaica has been independent since 1962 and is no longer a BT. We would only be claiming the turtle as per the transcript of the warrant conferring the Grant at Court of St. James, UK on14th May, 1958.

      • Diogenes says:

        The pineapple is not there to signify us being under Jamaica it represents our historical connection and closeness to them in the past and even today, for a significant period we depended on them for services and assistance, a good percentage of our population is Jamaican or of Jamaican and Caymanian descent
        and if you haven’t noticed there is already a turtle on our Coat of Arms, unless of course you are advocating for a turtle on top of a turtle (as long as they are male and female I guess no problems for Cayman)

        A non-issue in reality


        • Anonymous says:

          The truth is Cayman was settled and grew because of British and Jamaican settlers. There was no such thing as a Caymanian until generations later when others from around the Caribbean came for work.
          Until 1963 these islands were Jamaican protectorate, and have always been British.
          The shame is that as British citizens you deliberately discriminate against your fellow Brits in such a bigoted and self entitled manner, when without us you would still be a mosquito infested rock with little wealth.

  7. West Bay Premier says:

    I think the reason why the Premier refused to comment on the status Caymanian issue . is because he wants to fix it his way . He should be forced to address the issue publicly, because we seen what has happened to the Ritch Report on status issues , and what caused the report .

  8. Anonymous says:

    CNS – No person can get a British or even a Caymanian Passport through Caymanian Status. They must first be a British Citizen or a BOTC by virtue of a connection to the Cayman Islands. The process and requirements are entirely different. Many Caymanians are ineligible for either Cayman or British Passports, and many people with Cayman Passports are not Caymanian.

    CNS: The whole situation is complicated and confusing. Auntie has dealt with this issue a number of times. See here and here.

    • Anonymous says:

      As it stands, a child of a PR holder can apply for BOTC registration within the first year of his/her birth. This is a well kept secret here in Cayman . Many PR holders(who often engage attorneys) have been able to get if for their children. Check the British Nationality Act (UK).

      • Anonymous says:

        Even better, any child of a work permit holder, or government contracted worker, who is born here and still here on their 10th Birthday gets a Cayman passport. Oh, the stuff you do not want you to know…

        • Anonymous says:

          Ah, thank Alden for that! That is is the consequence of refusing to enforce rollover.

      • Anonymous says:

        No need to even apply. The child of a PR holder born in Cayman is automatically a BOTC from birth.

        • Anonymous says:

          Agreed. But no rights in Cayman at birth (apart from a Cayman passport that is…). The child is treated as a visitor, the parents are forced to fill out a landing card ( yes it would appear that there is an Arrivals area at the George Town Hospital) and then an application must be made to the Permanent Residency Board for the child to remain on island. While this is being heard, visitor extensions must be sought (and paid for). Yet another fine example of how the Cayman Islands treats its permanent residents.

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually not true – they are permanent Residents without the Right to work. Any attempt to treat them as visitors is unlawful. Read s. 29 of the Immigration Law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately it is neither complicated or in fact confusing. The confusion only exists because politicians and others continue to misdescribe the facts. That is what is making it confusing.

    • Anonymous says:

      10.28am. Then the authorities had better start checking the mass hand out of Caymanian and British passports, something is very wrong.

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