Premier: UK likely to retain reserved powers

| 06/08/2020 | 111 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin in the LA

(CNS): Britain’s recent agreement to remove section 81 of the Constitution, which allows a governor to make laws directly for the Cayman Islands, will most probably be reconsidered, Premier Alden McLaughlin has said. As the current governor prepares to use that Reserved Power to pass the Domestic Partnership Bill into law, the premier believes that despite agreeing to its removal following the recent constitutional talks, the UK will now want to keep it.

McLaughlin said the failure of the majority of the elected members of the Legislative Assembly to pass the legislation that would have dealt with the long-running breach of the Constitution and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) left the UK government with no other option but to use this section of the Constitution to uphold the rule of law.

And this is likely to have set back Cayman’s constitutional advancement, the premier stated. “The UK will undoubtedly now decide to retain section 81 of the Constitution, despite my having gotten them to agree to remove it as part of the pending constitutional changes,” he said in a statement Thursday.

The statement was in response to Governor Martyn Roper’s announcement yesterday that he would be directly assenting to the law after 21 days of consultation on what is expected to be an amended draft of the bill.

Noting the wider implications for the constitutional advancement, the premier pointed out that the UK’s decision was “entirely to be expected”, given what had transpired.

“I have always argued that it is unwise to encourage and even worse to force the UK, as we have done, to act on behalf of the Legislative Assembly, as having done so once, they may find it easier to do so again in other circumstances. The failure of the Legislative Assembly to do its duty last Wednesday has set back our efforts at increased autonomy immeasurably,” the premier added.

Aside from denying Caymanians rights that they have under the law and defying the Court of Appeal, the LA had sent a message to “the UK and the world that the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly has not sufficiently matured and cannot be trusted to carry out a fundamental duty to respect the rule of law,” the premier added.

McLaughlin said that he had repeatedly pointed out that the need for legislation to provide same-sex couples with some form of legal framework that was functionally equivalent to marriage was a matter of law.

“I said when I introduced the bill that this was about the rule of law and whether the Legislative Assembly understood its role in not only making laws but in respecting and observing them,” the premier said. “I pointed out several times that if the Legislative Assembly did not do its duty then the UK Government or the courts would stand in for us and do what is required under law.”

McLaughlin said members of the House who were seeking to deflect responsibility by suggesting the appeal court declaration last year was “merely akin to a suggestion are woefully wrong”.

The defeat of the Domestic Partnership Bill last week will now result in some version of it becoming law in any event under the governor’s hand, without further reference to the Legislative Assembly, McLaughlin said.

“What form this law will take is now beyond our control and will be decided by the UK and the governor,” the premier said. “This is a very shameful event and one that should have been avoided.”

See the full statement in the CNS Library

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Category: Politics

Comments (111)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    UK will be taking control soon i’m sure

  2. Anonymous says:

    Direct rule is really the only option at this point.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 10.31am Maybe for you but not for the majofiy of Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        So 12:02 you are saying Caymanians are happy with the continual mismanagement of these Islands? Just look at THE DUMP and the inaction for 20 years. The issue is beyond our Caymanian capability. Let’s be honest with each other.

    • Anonymous says:

      If we had direct rule, our MLAs would have no one to govern for them when they are too scared to govern for themselves.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians not fit to have total control over managing their own islands. That’s what this boils down to. When you look at the calibre of those elected year on year, and listen to their speeches and watch their deeds, how could you possibly argue against that?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ultimately the UK and Governor are in control and make final decisions. Don’t like it? leave.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Alden is exactly right about this. You have proven to the UK that you will be an embarrassment on your own. You are not going to be a country any time soon.

  5. Anonymous says:

    but will same sex partners have the rights to beat up women bar staff?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Alden should have whipped all the ministers and given them a choice between voting the bill down and their jobs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Th problem with that being that with his thin coalition majority, his job would have been he first to go!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I hope the UK take over control and save us from the likes of Jon Jon full moon idiot.

    • Anonymous says:

      HAaarden what do you hope to gain. Do you really believe that the atrocious speeches in the LA by you and your bunch, has served the greater good of these Islands? If yoU and the others do, there’s no hope for you or any of them running this country as Front bench members of Parliament. Ona should be ashamed of not defending the rule of law and the rights of minorities. Shameful that’s what I call it. Don’t come near us election time.

  8. Anonymous says:

    9:08 you dimwit why do you think you deserve rights that your fellow Cayman gay brothers and sisters don’t. 10 gay people? You would be surprised to know how large the gay community in Cayman is. A lot of husbands are on the “downlow”. Jus saying!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      A lot of wives are on the down low. Everybodys tired of sneaking around to fit into the so called Christians’ rules…..well just this one….not the others from the same book.

  9. This is our chance. Let's have our say. says:

    The Governor’s version of the bill will be published on 10 August; for 21 days after, it will be up for consultation. I encourage EVERYONE to give their 5 cents on the truly important issues, for example:

    – We must ensure that immigration and employment are not negatively impacted in any way
    – Raise the age of consent to 18
    – Couples should post bans the same as heterosexuals but no dedicated DP registry
    – No entering DPs on board Cayman-registered vessels

    Suggestion: Introduce a democracy and civil rights class for Years 9 or 10. Advise parents that the DP Bill will be discussed in the context of that class but the conversation itself will be left to families to handle in their own unique way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spoken like a true entitled expat. ‘must make sure you allow anyone in that wants in…to hell with Caymanian opportunities in their own country’

      • Anonymous says:

        @ 3:14pm. Wow. I am shocked at how anyone could have mis-interpreted a pro-Caymanian post so thoroughly.

    • Anonymous says:

      I down voted you because I don’t want my child learning Religion or Domestic Partnership in school. That’s my job.

      • Hubert says:

        I met you never talk about sex education with your child. That is your job too.

      • Anonymous says:

        @8:23pm Fair enough. Hopefully we all provide objective feedback come Aug. 10th.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you teach your child about the birds and the bees? Doubt it. Caymanians don’t do that but no problems teaching religion and all about domestic partnership.

        That in a nutshell, is the basic social problem here.

        • Anonymous says:

          8.47 You are a bigot and a rotten liar. What you should have said is that is your twisted opinion of Caymanians.Shame on you.

          • Anonymous says:

            So 12:30, answer this question: Why are there so many unwanted teenage pregnancies in the Cayman Islands? That is not a racist question and one is not a liar when one answers the question. Shame on you that you want to deny reality here.

    • Rod bodden says:

      It doesn’t matter what the voting public wants! The allusion of democracy has been exsposed by mr. roper. We will be told what to think.

      • Anonymous says:

        What the people want still has to be legal. The people could want to legalise slave ownership and burning suspected witches but international law does not allow it. About 40 years ago the international community realised that homosexuality between consent adults was nobody else’s business and made international laws accordingly. Cayman still hasn’t read the memo apparently.

  10. Anonymous says:

    All this controversy over some god no one can prove exist.

  11. Anonymous says:

    thank god for that.
    local mla fools are lucky to have the powers they have already.

  12. Face the Facts says:

    The Premier claims he had got HMG to agree to remove Section 81 from the Constitution. Whatever powers of persuasion he claims, I do not believe for one moment that CIG will ever have autonomous government whilst we remain a British colony, we just can’t have it both ways and it would be disingenuous to believe otherwise.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is what mother does when the children misbehave. And many of the MLAs are still very much children.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Initially I wanted to write I prefer the governor have the power over Adlart the destroyer, but then where the hell was the governor during the port fiasco…didn’t see him speaking out against government use of the people’s money to fight the people for personal financial gain? Anyway as long as our MLA’s continue to receive their salaries while the rest of Cayman suffers all is good at the trough.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh to hell with you and the Port!

    • Anonymous says:

      To 9.24 He was not needed because there was no fight for “personal financial gain ” by Govt members.

      • Anonymous says:

        ok so you better get back to the trough now..oink oink

      • Anonymous says:

        Dig a little deeper 2:03pm. The usual hands were in the trough up to their elbows. The usual families stood to receive huge windfalls and the usual share would have been kicked back to the people who made it happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      I find your comment to be interesting, and I commend you on your ability for critical thought beyond the single issue of civil unions/domestic partnerships et al. It is obvious that there are many who are incapable of this and who are so myopically hindered by blinders on this one issue that they completely ignore all other issues, the implications therein and the overall picture. Both sides of the divide on this issue are similarly hindered and both are in possession of a vile and heinous hypocrisy and bigotry.

  15. such noble public servants says:

    If the UK ends up retaining the “reserved powers”, then Cayman will have gotten exactly what it deserved. Nine members of the Assembly deliberately chose to put their personal religious beliefs ahead of doing the right thing, which was obviously to comply with the court order. Yes, I know: The whole point of defying the court order was to keep sucking up to the churches for their political endorsement. That way, when gay unions do arrive — and they are inevitable — you can say to the churches, “See? We did all we could to prevent it. Our hands are clean.” Wow, what noble public servants you are…

    • Anonymous says:

      May be the Dump will be fixed then.
      There are no vents for methane. They hope that compacting removes air pockets for methane to accumulate. Wishful thinking and 19 century management.
      Mr.Miller was worried about explosion back in 80s, but appears not worried today.
      Yet, explosion in Beiurut highlighted what years of criminal gross negligence can lead to.
      The bomb is ticking in your front and back yards, yet everyone is pretending all is well.
      And Premier had a nerve to say it will be somebody else’s problem, not his.

      • Anonymous says:

        10.52 Your quote of “it will be somebody else’s problem, not his” referred to the Port project and not the dump. Get your facts straight

        • Anonymous says:


          March 20, 2020

          Premier says sorry for landfill fires
          There’s no ‘simple fix’ for the dump

          “However, McLaughlin said, if the project is abandoned, Cayman would have to go back to a whole new request for proposals, a whole new bidding and procurement process.

          “That’d be somebody else’s problem, not mine. Well, I shouldn’t say that wouldn’t be my problem. I would hope to be alive and be here, but it wouldn’t be my responsibility,” he added.”

          • Hubert says:

            In the same way Trump has abandoned the COVID fight in America, the Cayman Islands Government has abandoned doing anything about THE DUMP. But when the big one eventually comes they will then have no choice but to finally act.

        • Anonymous says:

          I could swear he repeated some version of this when asked about the lack of pension funds available to private pension holders later on after theyve raided theirs……

      • Anonymous says:

        This is my biggest fear as well. Well, that and a tsunami after the fiasco in January. Methane is heavier than air so it slowly builds up from the bottom of the pile and stays there unless it is vented. I think there are some vents at the dump but I very much doubt that issue is being managed adequately. We are not talking a Beirut-style event but it could be big enough to throw the dump’s toxic chemicals up in the air and have them settle all over the Island.

    • Anon says:

      Well said. Shows how backward cayman is that people reference religious skiers when debating same sex marriage. Pathetic. Thanks god for he uk and their modern capable government being able to step in to right the wrongs of the inept cayman opposition and their stupid religious pathetic beliefs and nonsense god references.

      • Anonymous says:

        9.42am Amazing, you managed to ridicule God believers while admitting to be one yourself by thanking him for the UK.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The only part of this necessary intervention that is regrettable, is that it took so many years for the FCO to use the provision to course-correct our moronic government kleptocrats. There are piles of other laws to correct while we are in this service stop. Change the tires, wash the windshield, check the oil, fill with gas, adjust the wings…do it all man before letting them back out on track.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Like him or, as many posters on CNS apparently do, loathe him, on this particular matter, Alden is 100% correct. Those god bothering no voters really effed up.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hardly find crediting Alden on this issue justifiable. Had he dealt with the issue years ago we would not be in the position we are in today. He played political football instead of educating the people on the true status of the relationship with the UK as an OT and what the possible outcome would mean to Cayman. He kept them uninformed and got the outcome he and all elected members wanted, “England did it” Protecting their sorry arses for May 2021 and the ignorant electorate will give them their X come 2021. All forgotten.

  18. Anonymous says:

    There is weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth coming from Premier Alden McLaughlin.

    The same Premier that now says…

    “I have always argued that it is unwise to encourage and even worse to force the UK, as we have done, to act on behalf of the Legislative Assembly, as having done so once, they may find it easier to do so again in other circumstances. The failure of the Legislative Assembly to do its duty last Wednesday has set back our efforts at increased autonomy immeasurably”

    … is the same Premier that refused to insist that his fellow government ministers vote with the government in support of the domestic partnership bill. He insisted that it is simply a matter of the rule of law but did not insist that his ministers vote with him to uphold the rule of law.

    It appears from my perspective that the Premier put himself above what was best for the country so I would recommend that he stop with all of the bellyaching and take some responsibility for his own actions.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, he assumed right that even people in his own government didn’t want to vote for it. In a democratic society how could you possibly find wrong in giving people their own vote?

      • Anonymous says:

        Cabinet collective responsibility, also known as collective ministerial responsibility, is a constitutional convention in Parliamentary systems that members of the cabinet must publicly support all governmental decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them.

        If this matter was so important to the Premier he should not have set aside collective responsibility. Any minister who could not accept collective responsibility should have resigned.

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree; he gave them rope and (as we all expected) they hung themselves. Maybe now they understand why church and state should not mix. What did JuJu say? Give Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s. She said it, but could not do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of coure 7.08 we all know that had he “forced” them to do so , you would be giving him hell for acting like a dictator. In other words , some people, like yourself,will find fault with whatever action Alden takes.Period.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just like the Port Referendum the Premier felt that there was no need to properly consult with the people. I think even if he has lost after adequate consultation the view would have been that he respects the views of all. He is very intelligent but wilful and has an AG who backs him up in these messes.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I don’t mind to be honest. I’ll definitely prefer direct governance from the UK rather than governance from a government where one of our officials claimed full moons heighten a woman’s sex drive. 🙄

    • Anonymous says:

      What recent events in the UK lead you to conclude that direct governance from the UK is the way to go? You clearly would not have only looked at the one event in the Cayman Islands that did not turn out the way you wanted.

      While I am in favor of the DPS I can’t see where the UK has demonstrated that they are any more prepared and competent to make decisions for the Cayman Islands than our own somewhat dysfunctional legislators.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you considering the current government which cares less about Caymanians than the UK. Most destructive government you’ve had…thank God for the CPR that we haven’t lined their pockets with many more millions.

    • Anonymous says:

      2:52 Have you found Different?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Waaaaaaaa 😢

  21. Anonymous says:

    I may disagree with many things Alden says and does but the first limb of your comment makes no sense. He outlined the duty of the LA to comply with the “order” from the Court of Appeal, he warned what might happen if the Bill which he presented was not adopted by the LA to give Caymanians a right they are entitled to so tell me again how he “does not give a rat’s ass”? Thankfully I can entirely agree with the remainder of your points but it would have been so much better if you hadnt taken a gratuitous swipe at Alden on a non issue.

    CNS: Apologies! This comment appears to be a casualty of a glitch that occasionally puts them as a stand-alone comment instead of a reply.

  22. Anonymous says:

    …because Alden proved it was necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      How is it Aldens fault that the rest of the MLA are Bigoted idiots? No one walked in to he LA wit a gun, put it to the members head and said “vote no or die”

  23. Anonymous says:

    8:04 What PART of the Premier SPEECH you missed.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Alden being Alden a self serving twit who should have properly consulted the public about the bill. Instead he tried to ram it down our throats because he has no interest in consultation and respect for people

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I agree, there should have been consultation far and wide. Have a PA airing on all the radio stations, all the media houses, social media, give out brochures at all the supermarkets. But being that the government did not do it figuring that the Court of Appeal issued a ruling so it was no longer up for debate, the ones who voted no should have hunkered down to amend it as much as possible in Chamber or committee or whatever they call it. But no, they just got on their high horses and said no. Well, tha’ wha’ they get.

    • Anonymous says:

      There doesn’t need to be consultation with the people except for maybe a framework. We don’t get to decide yes or no. The court said that it had to be done.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t be too hard on him! He was only doing as he was told to do.

  25. Bonnie Anglin says:

    I am at a loss. The Premier CLEARLY explained to the Members of the Legislative Assembly what would happen as the Country was breaking a number of Laws as a British Overseas Dependent Territories of the UK. And the majority voted to NOT upload the Laws that are we are subjected to as a BODT. Instead of moving forward to more power to rule our Country, we are moving backwards as the UK will now pass the Law for us! And how is that the Premier’s fault?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because he gave his ministers a free vote. They favoured their own political positions over Cayman. Plain and simple.

  26. Anonymous says:

    8.04 you are wrong. Time and again he warned that if our LA did not pass the bill the UK would have no option but to step in.

  27. Anonymous says:

    God is good

  28. Anonymous says:

    I am delighted. Our government cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Thank you U.K.!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Alden…that’s what you get… you selected them for your cabinet and you released them from their collective responsibility and made them have a vote of conscience.

  30. Anonymous says:

    The Premier needs to stop with the constant whining and fear-mongering. He needs to pull up his big boy pants and get on with the job that he was elected to do. Unlike many other people in the country, he most likely continues to receive his monthly salary and can look forward to lifetime pension and health benefits when he retires.

    Even if section 81 of the Constitution was removed the UK would have found a way to force the Cayman Islands to honor what it sees as our international obligations.

  31. Born Caymanian / says:

    So, I guess now, people will blame the Opposition members for making their conscience vote… Wow … what a screw up system ! Democracy has been override by the Governor for a less than 10 gay persons, and we just going to sit here and say that’s good for the country ??? :/ I’ve never dream my own people will have their human rights replaced for an LGBT one by force ! Never !

    CNS: Not one person will have fewer rights after this bill becomes law than they did before. Discrimination is not a right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thumbs up to CNS.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:08 there are many born Caymanians (and Christians too) that are not bigoted idiots like you and even if it was just one Caymanian asking for some form of equality that is enough for me.

      On another point, lets all face the fact that maybe two of the No votes (wrong as they may be) were following their conscience. The rest of them are pathetically manipulating the majority of voters. There is no decency amongst them. They are trying to fool you as usual into letting them keep their jobs because they dont have any similar options. If you let them do that you will never have better governments that are free of corruption.

    • Anonymous says:

      Less than 10 gay people? No hun, there’s many gay people in Cayman, actually a pretty large number too. And even if there was only 10, there should still be equal rights for those 10 individuals, so you made no good point.

  32. Big Bobo says:

    We are children and do not deserve more autonomy from Mother in London. We need to grow up, but unfortunately we are led by neophyte politicians who simply keep acting like children in the Legislature.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Clearly it’s necessary to ensure some semblance of good governance, and I hope there is more of it, not less. Our MLAs, and the advice they get from counsel and AG, are all extremely suspect.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Disingenuous nonsense from Alldone. He was FULLY aware that the UK would step in after the no vote. He just didn’t give a rat’s ass because he is on is way out next May no matter what. The lack of integrity, honesty and respect for others is what holds back our island, not the UK sticking their nose in. We can’t be trusted to run our own affairs so the UK have no choice but to do it for us. How sad that we aren’t adult enough to see that.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re an Ass

    • Anonymous says:

      You fool. Leader of opposition suggested it would be 30 odd years before UK acts so stand up for your biblical believes. Premier then said this would happen in LESS THAN 30 DAYS if the bill was defeated and look what happened. Juju pulled out her Bible and said fk the Buddhist and Muslim Caymanians, dey none ah dem dung in Watrin Place in Brac.

      Can we please wake up people it is 2020 not 1970 anymore.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:32 pm, agreed 100 %, please we been fooled long enough, let’s have enough common sense this coming May election. Bodden Town, East End especially please wake up.

        • Anonymous says:

          We need decent options to vote for. Last election my vote had to go to the person I thought would do the least damage. Unfortunately we still ended up with the donkey mooner.

        • Anonymous says:

          West Bay as well. In my humble opinion, people should not be allowed to legislate for any more than two terms. That is enough to see any of their proposals through.

        • Anonymous says:

          West Bay too.

      • Anonymous says:

        “wake up people it is 2020 not 1970 anymore”
        Top comment right here.

        1970 is exactly where this island stopped mentally progressing and growing. Within about 15 years after that they stopped educating their children.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Alden gave fair warning that the UK would step in before and during the debate on the Bill. Not sure I agree with your criticism of him specifically. I do however agree that we are not mature enough to manage our own affairs. But some of us knew this long before the DP Bill was even contemplated.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:04 What PART of the Premier SPEECH you missed.

    • Anonymous says:

      He was being an “adult” you’re just one of those hating ass alden bandwagonist’s. He’s not perfect but he’s top of the heap.

    • Anonymous says:

      You say that we “can’t be trusted to run our own affairs so the UK have no choice but to do it for us”. Have you seen what has been going on in the UK and other places in recent times? If so, you would not be making that statement.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an idiotic comment. The Premier did WARN VEHEMENTLY on the floor that this would be exactly the course the UK would take. If anything, those who voted against were busy pandering to their ignorant electorate and were too stupid themselves to understand the role the mother country plays. Wake up Cayman.

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