MPs to visit Cayman next week

| 17/07/2008

Posted Thursday, 17 July 2008

George Town (CNS): A member of the House of Commons
Treasury Select Committee (TSC), which is conducting an enquiry into
offshore financial centres (OFCs), will be visiting all three islands
next week as part of the delegation from the All Party Parliamentary
Group for the Cayman Islands (APPG).

Altogether, five members of the APPG, a group that maintains links
with and develops an understanding of the Cayman Islands within the UK
Parliament, will be coming to Cayman for a six-day visit, led by
Jennifer Dilbert, the Cayman Islands Government Representative in the
UK.

The Group, which comprises members from the House of Commons and the
House of Lords and includes representatives from all three main
political parities, is currently considering tabling questions in the
House on the issue of the European Union Equivalency List (White
List), according to a release from Cayman’s London Office.

The Cayman Islands was among the offshore ‘tax havens’ omitted from a
recent EU ‘white list’ of countries deemed to have satisfactory
controls against money laundering. According to the UK Treasury
department, the list, compiled by the EU committee on the prevention
of money laundering and terrorist financing, is open but Cayman is
dependent on the UK’s decision to lobby or not on the islands’ behalf.

Among the delegation here next week will be Michael Fallon, the senior
Conservative on the Commons TSC, which is currently
conducting an enquiry into OFCs
and their impact on global business and investment, including the
international fight against money laundering, that has gathered
written evidence,
some highly critical, from OFCs, NGOs and academics.

Accompanying Fallon will be fellow Conservative MP and APPG Vice-
Chairman Nigel Evans, Baroness Llin Golding (Labour) and 2 Labour
Members of Parliament, Ian Davidson and Lindsay Hoyle. Another member
of the Treasury Select Committee, APPG Secretary Graham Brady MP,
visited the Cayman Islands in 2004.

Members have discussed the itinerary of the visit to ensure that all
areas of interest relating to the Islands are covered, the London
Office said. The delegation showed particular interest in learning
more about the Hazard Management facilities, the Tourism
Apprenticeship Program and the Civil Service College in
Cayman.  

Over the six days, the UK group will attend meetings and briefings
with MLAs, senior government officers and private sector
representatives to discuss current issues, policies, problems and
development in the Cayman Islands. The delegation will also be invited
to an environment briefing, a financial services seminar, and a
discussion with the Chamber of Commerce.

The CI London Office says the purpose of the visit is to familiarize
the delegation, and through them the APPG as a whole, with as many
aspects of the Cayman Islands as possible. The programme will also
include visits to historical and cultural sites in Grand Cayman, as
well as a trip to the Sister Islands, to promote a first hand
appreciation of Caymanian history and culture.

Dilbert commented, “This is a very important exercise as it gives the
delegations the opportunity to experience the islands first hand. It
is essential that the group has a good understanding of Cayman and all
its facets as they are the ongoing permanent link between Parliament
and the Cayman Islands.”

 

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