Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin has travelled with a delegation which includes Financial Services and Home Affairs Minister Hon. Tara Rivers to London to participate in a number of key meetings next week. The delegation left Friday 8th June.
On Monday the Premier and Minister Rivers along with other members of the delegation will meet with Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss, in more detail, a number of issues including Constitutional reforms, and matters around public registers.
On Tuesday the Premier will chair a meeting with other fellow Overseas Territory leaders from Anguilla, Bermuda, BVI, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos to discuss hurricane preparation, response and mitigation. This is a follow on to the meeting that took place in November 2017 in Miami. Leaders will also discuss relevant issues regarding constitutional reform in light of the House of Commons vote on public registers.
Disaster Management is a key topic for the OT’s following the devastating storms last year that affected several of Cayman’s sister British Overseas Territories.
Mr. McLaughlin said. “We will look at local disaster preparedness as well as regional support from our Caribbean neighbours, including the Dutch and French territories as well as improved support from the UK, should disaster strike.”
On Wednesday 13 June, 2018, Overseas Territories Heads of Government will meet at Church House in Westminster for their annual pre-JMC meeting. The Pre-JMC is a precursor to the full Joint Ministerial Council meeting which will be held in London in November. The pre-JMC allows the OT leaders to agree their key agenda items for discussion with the UK in November. There will also be a report provided by the UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) on their work over the past year.
Discussions will also include talks on climate change, the UK’s “blue belt” initiative that promotes Marine Conservation Zones in the United Kingdom and Overseas Territories, hurricane preparedness.
On Thursday morning the Premier and delegation will attend the annual meeting between OT leaders, UK Ministers and Officials on the Brexit negotiations with the EU. This special JMC meeting dealing with EU negotiations (JMC OT EN) is an opportunity for the UK and OT leaders to discuss matters, such as, how decisions made will affect trade and the economy, citizens’ rights, border arrangements and the legislative provisions for an exit from the European Union.
Prior to the discussions around Brexit, the JMC OT EN will examine possible constitutional reform within the territories. The de-facto Deputy Prime Minister, David Lidington will lead the discussions. Also to be discussed is disaster management.
“We meet each year ahead of the Joint Ministerial Council to discuss the many areas in which we can work together,” said Mr. McLaughlin. “This year top of the agenda is our Constitutional Relationship with the UK, which I lobbied to get added to the agenda following the recent vote in the House of Lords regarding the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering bill.”
Travelling with Mr. McLaughlin and Ms Rivers is Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose, Chief Officer for the Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs Dr. Dax Basdeo, Senior Political Advisor Roy Tatum, Sherpa Jason Webster and Personal Assistant to the Premier Jana Bush.
The delegation returns to the Cayman Islands on Friday, 15 June.