UK OT minster admits strains ahead of meeting

| 03/12/2009

Cayman islands news island weather classifieds business financial services(CNS): The increasingly strained relationship between the United Kingdom and a numberof its overseas territories will be in the spotlight next week when the Cayman Islands premier McKeeva Bush and ten other leaders from other overseas territories gathering in London to meet with the OT minister, Chris Bryant, at the Overseas Territories Consultative Council. Bryant said a lot had happened since 2008, and with a number of difficult issues to address there was much to discuss with the OT elected leaders.

“Much has happened since territory leaders gathered in London 12 months ago. Developments across many of the Territories, not least in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the economic and financial services challenges that many of them face, have, in some cases, put our relationship under strain. We’ve got a great deal to discuss and difficult issues to address,” the FCO minister stated.

“I’m looking forward to open and frank discussions and to working with Territory leaders to resolve those issues and to strengthening our relationship. We value our relationship with the Overseas Territories highly and are keen to maintain that bond of friendship, even if at times we have to be critical friends.”

The eleventh meeting of the Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC), a key event in the British Government/Overseas Territories calendar, takes place on 9 December and will be Chris Bryant’s first Council. Discussion will reportedly cover a range of topics, including the UK/Overseas Territories relationship; economic issues in the light of the global crisis; financial services regulation following the G20 Summit; human rights; public sector reform; the environment; and immigration issues affecting the Territories.

Premiers, chief ministers and their equivalents from Britain’s Overseas Territories will be attending as well as UK ministers, including Michael Foster MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for International Development;  Huw Irranca-Davies MP, the Minister for the Natural and Marine Environment, Wildlife and Rural Affairs at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and Meg Hillier, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Identity at the Home Office.

This year, at the request of overseas territory leaders, a forum is being held the day before the Consultative Council, on 8 December, to review the 1999 Government White Paper “Partnership for Progress and Prosperity – Britain and the Overseas Territories”.  The White Paper established the principles that have guided the relationship between the UK and Territories since 1999.

The territory leaders attending this year’s OTCC are Osbourne Fleming, Chief Minister , Anguilla; Ewart F Brown, Premier, Bermuda;  Ralph T O’Neal, Premier, the British Virgin Islands; McKeeva Bush, Premier, the Cayman Islands; Dick Sawle, Member of the Legislative Assembly, the Falkland Islands; Reuben Meade, Chief Minister, Montserrat; Michael Warren, Mayor, Pitcairn Islands; Cyril Gunnell Councillor, St Helena; Conrad Glass, Chief Islander, Tristan da Cunha; and Ann Miller, Councillor, Ascension Island.

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  1. Chris says:

     No, No!!!!  Do not trust anyone representing the UK.  They are degrading and undermining Turks and Caicos.  Nobody from TCI will be there.  Please learn the lessons of Turks and Caicos, Caribbean.  The UK has oppressed the Caribbean for 2 centuries.  It is time for sovereignty for every territory.  Who better to determine your destiny than the people who are vested in the culture and the future of that country.  Please see the light.  We have been ruined by an outspoken political activist group, TCI Journal.  Do not let it happen to you.   TCI is back to slavery status by the British oppressors. 

    • Hanson says:

      What is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)?

      Is the government department responsible for promoting British interests overseas and supporting our citizens and businesses around the globe.

      In today’s economic climate, international relations are more important than ever and the FCO’s purpose is to work for a better Britain in a better world.”

      Hmmm…I don’t see anything here for promoting Cayman’s interest.
      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman is British.  British interests should be Cayman’s interests and anything else is treachery.

  2. I read the news today oh boy says:

    Don’t sign ANYTHING McKeeva.  Please even if they pat you on the back and say "pip pip jolly good."  Especially if they say "pip pip jolly good"!!!  Have mercy on us.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Want to bet which OT’s will experience less ‘tensions’ with the UK? Bet the guys from the Falklands and Gibralter (not mentioned) won’t be ‘strong-armed’, want to guess why, anyone??

    • Anonymous says:

      They have military/naval bases as well as being very important strategically to the UK?

      Could also be for the Falklands that (a.) there is oil in the region, and (b.) they are the closest dependent territory to the Antarctic therefore making them a vital port for resupply as the other 2 countries in the regional are far from helpful when emergency happen on the south pole.

  4. Jill says:

    Now that McKeeva brought it out allegations to the Public that the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with the Governor, is conspiring to ruin Cayman Economy, it would be interesting to see his response to this FCO meeting

    And the most important issue pertains to our self-determination as a country with the UK

    Definitely, the UK values the Overseas Territory. If they lose us, they lose an important aspect of their economy!  lol… I don’t think Gordon Brown (Labor Party) sees a losts