A Delegation of Government Officials visited the UK to attend important Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meetings with the leaders of the British territories and UK Officials. Topics on the agenda included tax transparency, beneficial ownership and the EU’s proposed list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. Other topics include Brexit, UK programme support for the overseas territories, hurricane relief and recovery for those jurisdictions hit this season, as well as climate change and environment. Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers accompanied the premier, along with Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose, Chief Officer Dax Basdeo, Senior Legislative Policy Advisor André Ebanks, Joint Ministerial Council “Sherpa” Jason Webster, and Senior Political Advisor to the Premier Roy Tatum.
The Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK provide a meet and greet service to ensure that Government Officials are met on arrival at Heathrow. A briefing is then held for the Delegation at the Government Office to ensure all are clear on the weeks events and activities.
Ahead of the start of the JMC a meeting between the Overseas Territory Members and The Prime Minister, Theresa May, was held at 10 Downing Street. The Prime Minister advised the OT Leaders that the United Kingdom is committing an additional £70M package of recovery and reconstruction assistance as well as up to £300M of UK loan guarantees for territories impacted by recent hurricanes that need support in obtaining access to loans to help rebuild.
This years United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTA) Political Council Meeting was held at convocation hall, Dean’s Yard in Westminster. The Political Council is the highest level of UKOTA decision making, as this is the annual meeting of the leaders of the British Overseas Territories where final decisions are taken on the previous year’s activities. The Political Council Meeting is also where the leaders prioritize the agenda items for the upcoming JMC and EU Meetings.
Minister Rivers met with Dame Margaret Hodge, Member of Parliament for Barking. Dame Hodge is a critic of The Cayman Islands as well as other British OTs that have financial services business. Ms Rivers took the opportunity to discuss concerns that the MP has and sought to assist her in better understanding the work done in Cayman and to show that not only does the Cayman Islands cooperate in regard to tax matters, but that the country provides a benefit to the UK and the world through the work of its Financial Services sector. “I enjoyed meeting Dame Hodge; and although we expressed our differences of opinion with regards to the financial services business conducted in Cayman, I took the opportunity to strongly present our case based on facts, and I appreciated her willingness to listen,” said Ms Rivers.
Media articles about the trip: