Premier Attends Pre-JMC Meeting | Constitutional Changes Added To Agenda


Constitutional changes have been added to the agenda for this week’s Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London.

Confirmation has come from the Premier of the Cayman Island’s Alden McLaughlin.

Montserrat’s Premier Donaldson Romeo is attending the meeting, a precursor to the annual year-end summit.

FCO Minister Lord Ahmad, who visited Montserrat recently, explained that the British Government is yet to see the detailed propositions from all the Overseas Territories.

He explained that there's not a one size fits all situation, as different territories are in different places, and will have different concerns.

Meanwhile, the Cayman Times newspaper is reporting that the meeting in London between leaders of Britain’s Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies, and their UK counterparts could set the stage for the future relationship especially for the Caribbean territories.

It says the thorny issue of public registries of beneficial ownership which has caused a rift between the administered and the administering power is more than likely to dominate the agenda.

Several territories are still insisting that they will push through with their challenge to the legislation whether diplomatically, through the courts or other means of protest.

According to the newspaper, more successful and welcomed would have been the offers of support for this year’s hurricane season preparedness, and recovery from hurricanes Irma and Maria which caused millions of dollars in damage.

It highlights the fact that Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands bore the full brunt of storm damage, and to a lesser extent the Turks and Caicos Islands, while Montserrat, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda were spared the worst.

The newspaper, however noted that although Montserrat did sustain only minor damage, it’s very fragile volcano-impacted infrastructure makes it more susceptible to storm damage than its sister OCTs.

The paper points out that the Minister for Overseas Territories, Lord Tariq Ahmad only visited Montserrat, Anguilla and the Cayman Islands on his recent swing through the islands.

It says while the affected territories are struggling to regain their financial footing in the aftermath of the hurricanes, the anticipated loss of revenue from the beneficial ownership is seen as a further setback.

The Honourable Leader of the Opposition Easton Farrell Taylor believes the imposition of public registers, detailing beneficial ownership of companies listed in the Overseas Territories, will hurt businesses in the OT’s.