On 28 June 2018 Premier Hon Alden McLaughlin made the following statement concerning Constitutional Talks with the UK…
Mister Speaker, I rise today to provide you, the members of this Honourable House and the public an update on the Government’s efforts to make important and necessary safeguards to the Cayman Islands Constitution.
Before doing so Mister Speaker I will provide some background for the benefit of the public and the members of this House.
We will recall Mister Speaker that in May this year the House of Commons attached an amendment to a Sanctions and Anti Money Laundering Bill that was making its way through the United Kingdom Parliament. The Bill and the amendment were passed by the Commons and then later by the House of Lords.
This amendment requires the British Overseas Territories, but not the Crown Dependencies, to establish a public register of beneficial ownership, and to do so no later than 31 December, 2020. Failing this, the amendment requires the UK Government to utilise an Order in Council to change our local legislation to implement a public register of beneficial ownership on our behalf.
But Mister Speaker this was not the first attempt by the UK Parliament to force the issue of Public Registers on the territories. Late last year a similar attempt was made with a similar amendment and we worked with our team in the London office and with the UK Government to fight off that attempt. The UK Government at that point was able to gather sufficient votes to help stave off the threat. In particular Lord Ahmad, the Minister responsible for the Overseas Territories, fought on our behalf in the House of Lords and assisted us greatly to fend off the threat on that occasion.