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Falklands attends pre-JMC meeting where Caribbean countries complained of UK “neo colonialism”

Friday, June 28th 2019 - 18:44 UTC
Full article 4 comments
MLA Barkman was quoted underlining the importance of unity among the BOTs in the face of Brexit uncertainty and the instability it had created MLA Barkman was quoted underlining the importance of unity among the BOTs in the face of Brexit uncertainty and the instability it had created
Gibraltar's commerce minister Albert Isola raised concern about what BOTs leaders saw as “modern colonialism via the back door” Gibraltar's commerce minister Albert Isola raised concern about what BOTs leaders saw as “modern colonialism via the back door”
Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin emphasized the need for BOTs to unite behind common positions advance of November’s Joint Ministerial Council Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin emphasized the need for BOTs to unite behind common positions advance of November’s Joint Ministerial Council
Attending the pre-JMC meeting was UK Parliament, Overseas Territories Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad who tried words of comfort for all Overseas Territories. Attending the pre-JMC meeting was UK Parliament, Overseas Territories Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad who tried words of comfort for all Overseas Territories.
Delegates from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and Turks and Caicos Delegates from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and Turks and Caicos

Falkland Islands lawmaker MLA Teslyn Barkman pointed out in Cayman Islands how Brexit and a no deal departure by the UK could totally destroy the economy of her country because the bulk of the Islands exports go to the European Union.

MLA Barkman was attending British Overseas Territories the pre-Joint Ministerial Council in the Caribbean island where is was pointed out that although Brexit may not be an issue impacting Caribbean Territories, all of them have some issue that will be at risk with a no-deal Brexit, or if the UK does not bear them in mind when it makes a future trade deal with the EU.

MLA Barkman was also quoted underlining the importance of unity among the BOTs in the face of Brexit uncertainty and the instability it had created, but nevertheless reaffirmed her satisfaction with how much more solid the BOTs now are

Leaders of the BOTs, at the close of the pre-JMC meeting in the Cayman Islands, agreed and presented a united front against what they all see as the creeping “neo-colonialism” of the UK.

While leaders and representatives of the territories outlined different concerns about their individual relationships with and the actions of the UK, they all agreed that they needed to collaborate and stand together to prevent the British government from interfering with the territories’ rights to self determination.

Speaking at a press briefing following the Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting, which was hosted by Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin and held at the Kimpton resort on Grand Cayman, several of the leaders raised their concern about what they saw as “modern colonialism via the back door”, as described by Gibraltar’s commerce minister, Albert Isola.

Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo outlined how important it was for all of the Territories to stick together when it comes to their negotiations and issues with the UK because it did not matter whether a specific threat impacted all or just one of the territories.

He said it was important that they all stand united as every territory would face one challenge or another from the UK at some time.

All of the leaders raised concerns about the findings of the Foreign Affairs Committee report, which has stirred up enormous controversy in all of the territories, especially its recommendation that all British citizens in the territories should be able to vote and run for office, as well as the issue of same-sex marriage.

Although the current Conservative government rejected most of the report, the concern now is that, given the political instability and uncertainty surrounding British politics, members of that committee could be leaders in any new UK government that could emerge over the next few months.

Bermuda Premier David Burt said he was concerned about the poor level of engagement from the UK over the FAC and a “dangerous development”, where Westminster was thinking that it could still dictate policy, even in autonomous and devolved areas, to the territories.

The leaders were all worried about the impact, in what is supposed to be a modern evolved relationship, of the UK talking at and not with the territories, and the general feeling is that the British government had to appreciate the territories’ leaders are all elected and represent their people.

The newest leader at the table, British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Fahie said that the UK should not back the territories into a corner over the issues that step on their rights to self-determination. “We are in this together and the overseas territories have to have a unified voice going forward on these topics,” he added.

The leaders stressed the importance of their collaboration when meeting and negotiating with the UK. And they credited Cayman's Premier Alden McLaughlin with triggering the closer cooperation between them all over the last two years, after his work to bring the territories together in the wake of the 2017 hurricanes to support the worst hit islands and pressure the UK to assist.

Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin set the for several days of diplomatic discussions with international leaders converging upon Grand Cayman.

In his remarks kicking off the ‘Pre-JMC’ meeting at the Kimpton Seafire Resort, the premier emphasized the need for British Overseas Territories to unite behind common positions on a range of topics in advance of November’s Joint Ministerial Council in London, while also noting that fundamental conditions of that future meeting are, at this time, unknown.

“When we get to London in November, there will be a new prime minister with his own Cabinet, and so potentially the players that we now deal with may very well be changed,” McLaughlin said.

“What we do not know, as yet, is whether the October deadline for Brexit will have been met, and so we can only watch and wait as the scenarios continue to play out and work to ensure that whatever the outcome, we in the Territories are able to benefit from opportunities presented,” he said.

Heads of government or their delegates from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and Turks and Caicos attended the meeting.

Through this meeting we will agree on an agenda and strengthen our collective position for the full JMC meeting later this year in London.”

Also attending the pre-JMC meeting was UK Parliament, Overseas Territories Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon who tried words of comfort for all Overseas Territories.

“Well, the first assurance I can give you [is] I know both individuals who will be the Prime Minister of the UK, former Foreign Secretary Mr. Johnson and current Foreign Secretary Mr. Hunt,” said Lord Ahmad.

He said regardless of who takes the reins Britain is entering a new chapter and there will be hurdles along the way, but Overseas Territories rights’ to govern their own domestic affairs when it comes to issues such as LTGB legislation will be respected.

“There will be challenges, and I am been very upfront with you, within a parliamentary democracy when creating issues come to the floor,” he said.

He added, “We have to ensure that working with the OTs we present a robust case to our parliamentary colleagues to ensure that the essence of the OTs working forward on these important issues is not just sustained its strengthened.”

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Roger Lorton

    Take your pills old un...... you are raving again.

    Jun 29th, 2019 - 06:05 am +1
  • bushpilot

    What kind of economic numbers are you expecting from the Fernandez/CFK team?

    Jun 29th, 2019 - 12:54 pm 0
  • Think

    TWIMC...
    You ain't seen nothin' yet..., Kelpers...
    Just wait until Malfoy Johnson gets to be UK's PM...
    I can already picture him..., burning his Colonial Subjects the Boris way..:
    ***“Honestly..., you Colonial Mugg-kelpers..., if you were any slower, you’d be going backwards.”***

    Hard times ahead for Hufflepuffers..., I reckon...

    Jun 28th, 2019 - 07:58 pm -1
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