FCO not setting dates on sensitive OT issues

| 13/05/2019 | 17 Comments
Cayman News Service

FCO building in London

(CNS): The UK does not plan to implement orders-in council to force same-sex marriage laws on its overseas territories or to push them into allowing British and British Overseas Territory citizens to be able to vote and hold elected office in these territories. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s response to a report by the UK parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, which caused a stir when it was released, has brought a sigh of relief from Premier Alden McLaughlin, who said it was “a clear-headed restatement of the fundamental principle of self-government”.

He added that it “makes clear that there is no intention to interfere with locally-determined franchise and representational arrangements”.

The FCO’s response has restated much of what the current Conservative government has said in the past, though it does indicate that the British government is committed to equal rights, including LGBT rights.

While “marriage law is an area of devolved responsibility”, the FCO said it was working to encourage territories that do not “recognise and protect same sex relationships to do so” and to “ensure that their legislation is compliant with their international human rights obligations”.

Britain has no plans to publish a timetable over expanding the electorate in the territories, the FCO said, but it continues to impress upon OT governments the importance of allowing people who have made their permanent home in the territories the ability to vote and engage fully in the community.

“We will continue to support and encourage consistent and open political engagement on belongership and its territory-specific equivalents, whilst respecting the fact that immigration decisions are primarily a matter for OT governments,” the FCO stated in its response.

McLaughlin said he was “pleased that the UK has clearly listened to the representations that I and other OT leaders have made”.

The premier said there could be no “justification for people 5,000 miles away, most of whom have never even visited these islands, thinking they know better than we do”, as he suggested that the response from the UK government “thoroughly rejects that idea”.

Turning to the thorny issue of company beneficial ownership registers, which the UK government plans to impose on the territories, McLaughlin said the Cayman Islands and other overseas territories would continue to resist the imposition until it becomes a global standard. But he welcomed the Tory government’s rejection of accelerating the current timetable.

“The UK Government’s response underlines their commitment to developing a positive and constructive relationship with the OT’s,” McLaughlin said. “That commitment has been seen too in the recent talks over the potential constitutional changes that we would like to put in place in order to clarify our relationship.”

The Premier added, “Those negotiations are nearing a conclusion and I hope to be able to report back to the House and to the country shortly on what has been agreed.”

See premier’s statement and FCO response in the CNS Library

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Category: Politics

Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Another word for entitlement.

  2. Fiona Foster says:

    “Belongership”? What on Earth is that?

    • Anonymous says:

      Belongership is a term used in BVI (and perhaps Bermuda?) – believe its the same as having status here – right to reside and work, vote etc.

  3. Anonymous says:

    One day we with figure out that the FCO means no ill will to Cayman unlike the backwards politicians in the labour party.

    • Anonymous says:

      The FCO is a civil service department that delivers policy determined by the government of the day and its Minister. Just wait until the government changes – yo will see a very different perspective if its a labour government, or a minority reliant on the Liberals or the Scottish nationalists, all of whom have very strong views on equal rights.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Only because the DUP is propping up their excuse for a Government

  5. Anonymous says:

    “no justification for people 5,000 miles away, most of whom have never even visited these islands, thinking they know better than we do” – said Alden’s ancestor in 1834.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Pathetic embarrassment to the United Kingdom. This position will change. The nation’s reputation cannot go on being sullied by some backwards territories who pander to religious zealots.

    • Jah Dread says:

      You 2:04 AM got your knickers twisted with this issue haven’t you dear one.

      Well all I can tell you bredren or sistren suck it up. For now its a done deal, take ya as
      Irwin, or drink some Sersee tea to compose ya self it na worth ya ulcers. ✌🏽

    • Born Cay says:

      How come you know so well what being backward is?

    • Anonymous says:

      I love how all these people like to call us backwater, but not one of them will get on a plane and go back where they come from … makes me wonder… what’s worse than backwater?

      • Anonymous says:

        Staying here, drinking the backwater, bathing in the backwater, swimming in the backwater and so on. Backwater must taste sweet after all. My grandmother used to say ” once they drink the water they won’t leave” she must have been referring to the backwater !

    • Anonymous says:

      What a bulla! Two down, one to go.

  7. nauticalone says:

    What did the UK or Premier say about “same sex civil unions”?….which offers the same legal recognition to all of our residents, and will leave traditional “marriage” as is.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I agree. Long live The Cayman Islands.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Its not about who knows better than who Alden it is about fundamental equality for all citizens gay, straight or otherwise. Why is that concept eluding you?

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