UK – CI relations improving

| 08/02/2011

(CNS): As the country’s premier meets with the UK overseas territories’ minister today in London to discuss Cayman’s public finances he does so against a backdrop of much improved relations between the two countries. The governor, Duncan Taylor, described the situation between the UK and CI as a very “tetchy relationship” when he arrived in January 2010 but said last week that the current relationship is now a very cordial one. The governor said it had been one of his priorities on arrival to improve the communication between his office and the locally elected members of government when he took up his post and was now pleased with the working relationship he enjoyed with his Cabinet colleagues.

“I am very happy with the relationship I have here at the moment with the local government,” Taylor revealed at a recent press briefing. “We have a good working atmosphere within Cabinet. We don’t always agree on everything – as that would be impossible – but we are quite good at discussing differences and how we can approach things and I am very happy with that part of my job.”

He acknowledged that while governors in other overseas territories were still having problems with their working relations, things had improved all round in Cayman when it came to the communication between here and London.

When he first came, he said, the rhetoric regarding relations was “very tetchy” but now things were in a very positive place and the British government was working well with the Cayman Islands. Taylor said he believed the new minister, Henry Bellingham, had brought a very positive note into the relationship and that previous meetings between McKeeva Bush and the FCO minister had gone very well.

Bush is due to meet with Bellingham again today at the FCO, where he will be discussing the three year plan, which was submitted to the UK in order to gain approval from the British government to push the country’s borrowing beyond the limits of Cayman’s own financial management laws.

The UK approved some CI$155 million in further borrowing but recent revelations by the premier that the country may be facing a surplus this year instead of an anticipated deficit means government may no longer need to extend its debt — a message likely to further sweeten the relationship between the two countries.

In a statement to the nation last week, Bush said that unaudited figures suggest at the fiscal year half way mark that government may achieve a surplus of $17m instead of an expected $14m deficit by the end of the 2010/11 budget year. He said the turnaround in public finances was no accident but was a “direct result of a conscious effort” across government and the wider public sector to restrain expenditures.

The continued reduction in government spending is bound to win approval from the UK Conservative government, which is currently making unprecedented cuts its own public sector.

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  1. Sleuth says:

    ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Chairman of the Caricom Council of Ministers of National Security Errol Cort says the decision by Britain to pull-out of its warships from the region could be detrimental to the Caribbean’s fight against the illegal drug trade.

    Cort, who is also Antigua and Barbuda national security minister, said he would be engaging British government to ask them to reconsider the decision.

    “I would want to engage the British to share with them certain confidential information that we have pertaining to the maritime issues and to impress upon them that pulling out at this point could be and would be highly Detrimental to the region,” Cort said in an interview on local radio.

    Read more:

  2. bag man says:

    I must ask the question, whose “relations”??? If it is the “relations” between our government and UK officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, I can give two hoops! As far as I know, the “relations” between English people and Caymanian people were always strong. It is just those in power that ruin it for everyone. There “relations” means nothing to me when they don’t even represent me!

  3. hattie winters says:

    Congratulations Mr Premier—- CNS I have heard nothing from you. Do you only say well done if it suits you !! Mr. Taylor may be a diplomat but to say others are having problems but not me sounds like the truth.

  4. Adriana says:

    Since the time we were beckoned to become Independent and go with Jamaica, despite our dislike for the cruel and subtle spirit of colonialism, our great politicians have always thought that UNTIY with Great Britain was the best state of our self-determination. Why? Because our politicians have always been “humbled enough” to see that the world, our beautiful island, and our relationship with all foreignors who came to visit our shores, our banking clients and customers, were all of great value. Money was little to such men in those days who knew what hospitality and generosity was, what culture was all about, what it was to go fishing, make rope, and make friends. We saw ourselves too small to stand alone in a big world. We felt we had alot to offer. At one point, we became the financial pearl of the Caribbean. We consider ourselves likewise British citizens and most of the Governors we had were decent individuals. It is now 2011 and I am happy to see the shaking of two hands – the Governor’s and the Premier’s.

  5. SimMc says:

    Again, I must applaud the Premier and UDP members for their hard work and for representing the Cayman Islands so well. To those who don’t think that the Premier must travel… tell me, how do you think we are able to market ourselves. At least, the Premier reaches out and in my grade book has an “A” in diplomatic relations.

  6. oh WOW says:

    So the rollover didnt kill us after-all?

    • Anonymous says:

      Only a true Civil Serviced jobed idiot would think this way. Do you really think it has helped the rest of the island? Or like the Premeir do you not care?

  7. Sachamo says:

    Mr. Duncan has been a breath of fresh air to these Islands and I credit his wise approach for the improved relations. It is my suspicion that Gov Jack came here with pre-conceived biases and totally looked at Cayman and the Caymanian people as corrupt. That man should never be welcomed back here.

    • Joe Mamas says:

      Many well meaning people have the same bias and not because of any preconception but based of facts. If only your leadership could produce actual records, receipts, or maybe on budget, on time, and not totally screwed up projects(many come to mind) and maybe, just maybe if your leadership actually came across as something other than a firstclass, 5 star world traveler that shows his lack of education everytime he speaks it would really help everyone think better of Grand Cayman and its people. My own opinion on the new Governor is he understands that there is not much he can do to help the situation and just does not want to be blamed for all the many screw ups that the last Governor was held responsible for. Just a thought. Do you really belive your Government is doing a great job?

  8. Jesus on a Surfboard says:

    I can totally grasp the nettle now. Y’all are xxxx’ed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    of course things are going well when we have a governor who has no interest in ensuring good governance!

    mr taylor you have failed!…as proved by your silence when the ‘premier’ openly threathens journalists, auditor generals…etc.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank God we got rid of "Papa Smurf" otherwise we certainly wouldn’t be seeing these headlines. That man did us more damage politically than any politician in my lifetime.

    Mr. Duncan is a good and fair but not a "yes" man and Cayman is blessed to have him as its Governor.