Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie had the opportunity to discuss matters of interest to the Territory with other UK Overseas Territory Heads of Government at a pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting that was held in the Cayman Islands this week.
The meeting was chaired by Premier of the Cayman Islands Hon. Alden McLaughlin and provided Hon. Fahie and his other counterparts from Anguilla, Bermuda, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and Turks and Caicos the opportunity to discuss matters relating to its relationship with the United Kingdom government.
The Leaders used the meeting to agree on an agenda and to strengthen their collective position for the full JMC meeting that is scheduled to take place in the United Kingdom later this year.
During five discussion sessions the leaders canvassed topics such as a Joint Caribbean OT-wide oil spill clean-up, Trade, Banking in Small Jurisdictions, Frozen Pensions, FinTech, Health and active engagement with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and an Oceans Policy Update.
Of all the topics that were discussed the recommendation of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the response from Her Majesty’s Government – as well as an update on BREXIT – were hot button topics.
The matter of the Foreign Affairs Committee report is especially concerning to the Overseas Territories because although it was stated in the UK response that there is no plan to implement some of the recommendations the concern among residents of the BVI still looms.
In the BVI the matter of the abolition of the Belonger status and the call for UK citizens to be allowed to run for office and vote are especially concerning.
The Pre-JMC meeting also featured an inaugural UK/OT International Trade Summit, which was jointly hosted by the Cayman Islands and UK governments and was the first of its kind.
The week of events in the Cayman included illustrious attendees such as Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Secretary of State for the Overseas Territories, Prime Minister of Jamaica the Most Honourable Andrew Holness and members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Cayman Islands, Sir Graham Brady MP, Sir Michael Fallon KCB, MP and Lord Northbrook.