Visiting MPs support constitutional change

| 06/08/2018 | 37 Comments
Cayman News Service

MPs Andrew Rosindell (left) and Henry Smith

(CNS): The four members of the UK parliament who visited the Cayman Islands this weekend have offered their support for constitutional change regarding how all of the British Overseas Territories are managed. They described the governance as “a bit of a muddle” and emphasised the need for equality across the “British family”. All of the Conservative MPs said they did not support the recent amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill and raised concerns about the threat to the autonomy of the territories with the imposition of an order-in-council, if that was to happen. 

Andrew Rosindell, Henry Smith, Col. Bob Stewart and Martin Vickers were representing the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Cayman Islands. They were invited to Cayman by the government here in order to enlist their support in the battle to prevent the imposition of a public register for beneficial owners and for the Unity government’s goal of amending the Constitution.

After just 24 hours on Grand Cayman and several meetings here, the four MPs all seemed on board with the CIG’s position that the situation is unfair and that there is a need for intervention before the register is forced on the people of Cayman against their will.

Smith said it was important to have a level playing field, not just with regard to the different way the Crown Dependencies are being treated from the BOTs, but also the inequity between how beneficial ownership information is managed in the UK and how it is managed in the territories.

“Transparency is very important, but what is also important is a level playing field and fairness between the UK and the Cayman Islands …and with the current legislation we don’t have that. I don’t think it recognises all the work that has been done and the law that exists in the Cayman Islands already. It’s not a very well thought through piece of legislation,” he said of the bill passed in the UK by their own party.

He added that the discrepancies between the Crown Dependencies and the BOTs was “untidy and needs further revision”.

The MPs all agreed that there had to be some changes to the law, which they felt had been forced upon the UK government, and to have the same rules in all the “British family”.

Rosindell said that it was not fair to impose rules on Cayman that were much more rigid than those in place in mainland UK. “We all hope the UK government will take a fresh look at this,” he said. “An order-in-council would be a direct challenge to the autonomy of an overseas territory to make its own decisions in its own interests.”

The MP spoke about the need to modernize the overseas territories’ constitutional arrangements, which this issue demonstrated.

“There are so many inconsistencies in how the UK government manages the overseas territories. It has turned into a bit of a muddle,” Rosindell said, adding that there were misconceptions and a vacuum of knowledge in Britain about how the BOTs are governed. He said the visit was part of the group’s goal to show that the territories are an equal part of the British family. He said Cayman was a perfect example of a well run and well managed territory that is not drain on UK taxpayers.

Responding to questions about the suspension of Governor Anwar Choudhury and the possible appointment of a local governor, Rosindell said the territories should have a say in the choice of governor. However, he said the primary role of a governor is to uphold good governance and needs to be someone who is independent of that territory.

But he said they could not comment on the current investigation into Governor Choudhury.

Cayman News Service

Accompanied by Cayman’s London representative Eric Bush, the four visiting MPs are shown the RCIPS helicopter



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Comments (37)

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  1. The Watcher says:

    If you want a level playing field with the Crown dependencies then get ready to dismantle your immigration department and immigration law!

    Work permits can stay as a source of revenue but everything else should be fair and equal … So you can say farewell to fronting and the need for a Caymanian to be a partner in business.

    Suddenly …that extra slice of cake doesn’t seem that appealing to unna.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would have more confidence in this visit if our Governor was there…hmm. But he wasn’t…and I wonder why

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 6:24pm – Sorry, I meant NO political leaders. You’re absolutely correct that good, capable people among us wouldn’t tarnish their integrity by entering politics here!

  4. Anonymous says:

    So the Acting Governor Manderson says that the UK MPs trip was the MPs idea.

    The UK MPs say that the trip was at the invitation of the CI Govt.

    Just another example of how government lies to the public and cannot be trusted.

    Who is telling the truth the Acting Governor or the CI UK Representative or CNS?Based on past history, most probably it is CNS that is telling th truth.

    Aciting Governor Franz Manderson and CI UK Representative Eric Bush did an excellent job of keeping the UK MPs isolated from the general public, who would have told the real unfiltered truth.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope that among the proposed Constitutional changes our Government will include a clause ( similar to Section 16) to the effect that our marriage law is not discrimination.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Arrangements are presently in the works for a referendum for independence to be presented to the public. Hopefully it will fail, as Cayman presently has NO leaders who could function on the international stage as Prime Minister, Ambassadors, etc, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh it has many, they would just never sully their reputations with politics. You can ruin yours just by running in this town.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Bit surprised to see Col Bob Stewart dragged into this shambles. I remember him from NI and Bosnia – guess your standards slip as you get older?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Henry Smith is really a great looking guy but why are they in ties and coat when we know that shed that they are touring is hotter than hinges of hell.
    The older bureaucrat in the light suit is removing his tie.
    Oh please. These guys are just getting a free vacation and having nothing to say.

    • Mike says:

      To 2.59 pm this is a lot more than a free vacation as you suggest. I say well done CIG in getting these MPs here to hear our case re. unfair imposition of beneficial ownership law. The real crux of this struggle is the UK Parliament which pushed the law through, and that is where change can be made by educating as many of these MPs as possible, and hopefully obtaining a revision of the law as passed. Bring one hundred more if that is what it takes. I think that CIG is right on track with having these MPs visit and hear from appropriate experts on island. Well done, despite the cynical and, as usual, negative postings by so many. (What’s new)

      • Anonymous says:

        Revision of a House of Commons yes vote and none debate passage in the House of Lords …. you need to educate yourself on how the Westminster model works. Do your research and then go sing Kumbaya. It’s this head in the sand attitude that got us in this mess in the first place. You could bring the whole House of Parliament and their partners/family and staff and nothing will change. On the right track …..sssssuuurrreee go in the corner an hold your breath that might clear your head.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This was all complete BS. They’re politicians what do expect?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, how much more of this ignorance we are going to take “Rosindell said the territories should have a say in the choice of governor. However, he said the primary role of a governor is to uphold good governance and needs to be someone who is independent of that territory”.

    Of course what he is truly implying, is that a Caymanian would be not the ‘right person’ for the job and couldn’t have the integrity to carry out the function. What a load of BS, check back on some ex-governors all white, all British, who certainly used their position to help their pocket after leaving Cayman. We never have a say in a new governor appointment only ex-governors are given that privilege to comment; and its now evident we are not even given the expected response as to why the current post holder was withdrawn. I can assure you all will happen is a good story about the visit at the commons bar and likewise a litany of hypocoristic negativity said about Cayman and its people. These guys ( note not a women MP is sight) are all part of their little ‘white boy’ club and if you think they care about sticking together to keep the status quo guess again …. Check the background of these losers and you will most likely gasp at their dealing ….

  11. Anon says:

    Mr. Rosindell
    No we canmot have a say and should not. The constitution should be followed. We need to have the steady hand of a Governor like we have had in the past and sent by the Crown.
    This nonsense will lead to Independence.
    See what happened to Jamaica and the others that went Independent?
    We need to remain a BOT so that we will have the British protections.

  12. Anonymous says:

    They must have been very impressed, cause they don’t have helicopters in the UK… right

    I mean we had a captive audience (metaphorically speaking of course) and instead of sitting down for serious substantive conversations and answers the likes of which we rarely have the opportunity to get we show them the CIGs toys (which is outdated and in need of replacement )

    As usual we sing the song and dance of Cayman instead of focusing on the issues there needs to be more discussions than simply beneficial ownership registries and potential constitutional changes

    • Anonymous says:

      I think this was part of explaining the role we were able to play in hurricane recovery last year.

  13. I'm Gay and Conservative says:


    So much for you hardline LGBT folk that want same sex marriage and imaginary gay rights laws imposed on these islands.

    Good Luck :))

    • Anonymous says:


      Except the issue is now being handled in the local courts and the outcome will likely be the same as if it was imposed

      Good Luck :))

    • Anonymous says:

      You are encouraged to vet your propositions more carefully. There are currently 650 Members in Parliament in the UK. This article conveys the opinions of 4 out of 650. Cheers…

      • Anonymous says:

        I also wonder if this group gets any kind of compensation from the Cayman Islands. If they do you have to take what hey say with a grain of salt.

        • Anonymous says:

          Compensation?! The whole thing was 100% free! Why do you think they bother in the first place? It’s called a junket and it’s a primary perk of being a politician. They will have had the best of everything before, during, and after their stay.

    • Anonymous says:

      Being gay and conservative

      as rational as being a black segregationist,
      Then again conservatives are rarely rational

    • Anonymous says:

      So, just to clarify, we here object to the imposition of restrictions in Cayman that are more burdensome than those imposed elsewhere in the UK (like the beneficial owner registry), but also object to the extension of rights and protections that are recognized elsewhere in the UK to the Caymanian people (like basic equality for LGBT Caymanians)?

      I just want to make sure I’m getting that right.

      • I'm Gay and Conservative says:

        There are rights that apply to all human beings like the right to be protected from hate crimes.

        But a “prevelege” that can never be compared to a right, must never be enforced on everyone to recognized.

        Liberal gays represented by the LGBT bloc need to get that in their thick skulls. To enforce recognition of a marriage on everyone is not democracy. They go so far as to call it a “human” right when really its a “gay prevelege right”!

        • Anonymous says:

          This is hilarious

          How stupid can you get

          Having the same treatment as everyone else is the exact opposite of “privilege” its a simple concept called equal treatment under the law
          Look it up

          No one is enforcing any definition of marriage upon anyone else except the current status quo and you apparently, they simply ask for the same abilities and recognition as everyone else

        • Anonymous says:

          Replace “LGBT” and “gay” with people of “color/ non whites” and “blacks”, replace marriage with “recognition as a person” and watch the logic fall apart on this comment

          • Anon says:

            Im black because God made me that way (please dont insult me!). But people are not gay by any physical characteristic. I can look at a group of people and identify who is black. But I can’t tell who is gay … and that is a huge problem.

            So noooo .. you can not compare a black person with a gay person. Your logic falls apart.

            • Anonymous says:

              I also can’t look at a crowd and tell who is what religion
              Personal religion is a choice ( sexuality is not a choice, when did you decide to be straight)
              Personal religion is not something that you can see as a characteristic (just like sexuality)

              Yet freedom of religion is protected under our laws

              Again your logic holds no water
              Try again

              • Anonymous says:

                If being gay is like having a religion, and you say you defend freedom … then why are you trying to impose your lgbt religion on us??????

                Or, is it really you dont defend freedom?!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Stockholm syndrome and self loathing is strong with this one

  14. Anonymous says:

    Want to see my etchings err…… helicopter?
    Just another waste of time and money.
    Remember, it is OUR money they are wasting.
    No more politicians please, just committees with all proceedings in the public domain.

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