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Foreign Office updates Parliament on major UK/Overseas Territories conference

Thursday, December 12th 2013 - 21:16 UTC
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Minister Simmonds chaired the OTs Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London Minister Simmonds chaired the OTs Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London

The commitment of the governments of the Overseas Territories and the UK to continue to work together in partnership was underlined by Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds MP when he updated Parliament on the outcome of this year’s Joint Ministerial Council, which was attended by leaders from eleven OTs including the Falkland Islands.

 “I chaired the second meeting of the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council in London on 26 November. The Council was attended by political leaders and representatives from Anguilla; Ascension Island; Bermuda; the British Virgin Islands; the Cayman Islands; the Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Pitcairn; St Helena; and the Turks and Caicos Islands”, said minister Simmonds.

The Council focused this year on measures to increase economic growth and create jobs in the Territories and the plenary day included sessions on economic diversification and promoting investment; employment and vocational education; the relationship with the EU; renewable energy; and international financial services regulation.

Simmonds said the Council agreed a communiqué which identified priorities and set out a clear action plan for joint work. “A copy of this communiqué has been deposited in the Library of the House. The communiqué reflects the commitment of the governments of the Overseas Territories and the UK to continue to work together in partnership to achieve the vision set out in the June 2012 White Paper The Overseas Territories: Security Success and Sustainability”.

Later in the week there were meetings with Territory delegations and Government departments on health, the environment, passports, visas, immigration and asylum, and criminal justice, plus the organization of a major Investment Forum for the Territories which was attended by well over 100 UK companies.

“In line with our commitment in the White Paper we will continue to report to Parliament on progress in implementing the commitments in the communiqué by Territory governments and UK Departments. We have also deposited in the Library of the House a report on progress made in meeting the commitments in the communiqué from the Joint Ministerial Council in 2012”, concluded minister Simmonds.

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  • Anglotino

    It is very hard for those that look from outside to see how the British system works. They have trouble seeing these Territories as being individual and having their own identity.

    They see them as colonies or colonial relics without realising that they each have their own direction and own futures. And that they are not trapped within a system that they despise or dislike but are quite happy to stay as they are.

    There will always be people within the UK or the BOTs who want to change the system or see it as unfair or unmodern. However the vast majority of all people with the UK and the BOTs are quite happy with the status quo.

    There are no two states in the world that have the exact same consitutional setup or arrangments and nor should there be. The UK works for all its parts, nations, territories etc. and there is nothing any other state or organisation such as the EU or UN can do to change it.

    Dec 12th, 2013 - 11:13 pm 0
  • Gordo1

    Comment removed by the editor.

    Dec 13th, 2013 - 07:08 am 0
  • Britworker

    The countries that don't understand our ways are mostly countries that are clinging to a diluted version of democracy being led by despots with an imbalance of wealth, rife poverty and under-performing economies.

    So long as we outgun them, it matters not!

    Dec 13th, 2013 - 10:00 am 0
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