British Overseas Territories said they hoped that the Labour Party and other parties in the UK Parliament will remain consistent in their support for the self-governance and self-determination of the people of the BOTs and their continued growth and development.
The Wednesday release follows on Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn's call for UK direct rule of the BOTs, a first reaction from the head of the British opposition to Panama Papers revelations which exposed the role played by several Caribbean territories in helping create shell companies, mostly used or involved in concealing money laundering and tax evasion.
BOTs have an umbrella organization, UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA), which represents the collective interests of the UK’s twelve inhabited Overseas Territories, which are self-governing and have their own elected governments, and released a reply to MP Corbyn's statement.
Since becoming leader of Labor, some of MP Corbyn's comments on UK defense, BOTs and particularly on the Falkland Islands have been quite controversial and triggered strong reaction even among party members. However lately the Labor shadow cabinet has softened some of the original comments, but the call for UK direct rule of BOTs again aroused suspicions and thus the latest release, which follows under the heading Overseas Territories respond to Jeremy Corbyn's call for UK direct rule.
The UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) represents the collective interests of the UK’s 12 inhabited Overseas Territories, which are self-governing and have their own elected governments. UKOTA maintains links with members of UK political parties, and we deeply value our longstanding relationship with the Labour party, which is founded on mutual recognition and respect.
In January 2016, we were pleased that the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fabian Hamilton MP, reaffirmed the Labour Party’s official policy of supporting the UK Overseas Territories’ right to self-governance, self-determination, and commitment to defending the wishes of the people of the Overseas Territories. We remain directly engaged with the Labour party and are committed to continuing our constructive dialogue with them on various issues.
We hope that the Labour Party and other parties in the UK Parliament will remain consistent in their support for the self-governance and self-determination of the people of the Overseas Territories and their continued growth and development”.
Premier Dr. Hon. D. Orlando Smith OBE
President of the UKOTA Political Council and Premier of the British Virgin Islands