Preparation meetings being held on Sunday 2 December to discuss the upcoming weeks meetings and events in London.
London visit entails constitutional talks, meetings
A Cayman Islands delegation including Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Minister for Financial Services & Home Affairs Hon. Tara Rivers and Attorney General Sam Bulgin, QC, has arrived in London to attend a series of meetings and events from Monday 3 December.
These include the Political Council of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA), the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) with the UK Government as well as two days of meetings with UK Government officials on constitutional reform.
Following the JCM meetings, Premier McLaughlin, Minister Rivers and the Attorney General will be joined by Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Hon. Joseph Hew, Leader of the Opposition Mr. Ezzard Miller and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Mr. Alva Suckoo to begin constitutional discussions with the United Kingdom Government. They will be joined by Government’s Constitutional Advisor in London, Sir Jeffrey Jowell, QC.
“The constitutional safeguards we are striving for are to have aspects of our Constitution clarified to ensure that the Cayman Islands government has autonomous capacity in respect of domestic affairs and that the UK Parliament will not legislate, directly or indirectly, without consultation or, in matters of domestic autonomy, without the consent of these Islands,” said Mr. McLaughlin. “Our goal is to put the Cayman Islands in the best possible position constitutionally to govern our own affairs, to resist constitutional overreach by the UK Government and Parliament, and to continue to thrive and prosper as a modern, progressive and successful democracy.”
The series of meetings begin Monday, 3 December, with the UKOTA Environmental Workshop, which the Premier will host. The Environment and Climate Change workshop will include leaders in environments across the Overseas Territories, NGOs and Associations from the UK. In attendance will be Nadia Hardie, Executive Director of the Cayman Islands National Trust. UKOTA’s focus and developments in the areas of the environment and climate change includes Overseas Territory representation for the first time at the COP24 Global Environment meetings, a significant milestone in the global climate change conversation.
Political Council meetings will incorporate an in-depth review of the activity of UKOTA throughout the year, which includes working with the UK Government on items such as Diaspora consular issues, citizenship and passport issues, environment and climate change, European Union engagement and OTs student engagement.
The Annual Joint Ministerial Council meeting will involve two days of intensive meetings with Her Majesty’s Government reviewing and discussing the Overseas Territories relationship with the UK, including environment, Brexit, trade and economy, health and education, constitutional relationships with the UK and disaster management.
Particularly significant is the high-level attendance from UK Ministers including Minister of State for the Overseas Territories Lord Ahmad; Minister of State for International Development Lord Bates; Rt. Hon David Lidington, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; and Rt. Hon Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, among others.
Other Parliamentary engagements during the visit include meeting with the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Cayman Islands, including the influential Sir Graham Brady, MP, as Chair; Lord Naseby, a staunch friend of the Cayman Islands, and Andrew Rosindell MP, a great supporter of the Overseas Territories.
During his visit the Premier will also attend The Queen’s Diplomatic Reception, the main Diplomatic reception of the year, where all members of the Royal Family will join over 1,500 people from around 130 countries including members of the British government, Prime Ministers, Archbishops of Canterbury and York and other public figures.
The Premier will also host a dinner with Friends and Associates and a reception for Cayman Students in the UK to ensure the delegation connects with Caymanians abroad while he is there.
Also traveling with the Premier will be Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose; Senior Political Advisor to the Premier Roy Tatum; Policy Coordinator within the Cabinet Office Jason Webster and PA to the Premier Jana Pouchie-Bush.