The Opposition Leader in the United Kingdom says the offshore dealings uncovered in the Panama Papers are enough to consider imposing direct rule on British Overseas Territories. Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin calls that move preposterous.
Cayman has still not been linked to any material in the leaked documents about shell companies but has faced pressure for years about issues related to reporting beneficial ownership of companies. Jeremy Corbyn is leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party. In attacking offshore investments, he suggested overseas territories should face the prospect of direct rule by London in order to impose greater tax transparency.
Premier McLaughlin says Mr. Corbyn’s statements demonstrate a lack of appreciation of constitutional law and the relationship between the UK and its territories. The premier went on to say he was surprised to hear this champion on oppressed peoples reverting to the worst excesses of 18th century colonialism.
The Premier believes the UK government does not share Mr. Corbyn’s “misconceived views.” “However, I wish to make it clear I take the threat of ‘direct rule’ carried by Mr. Corbyn most seriously. Indeed we have engaged top constitutional counsel in the United Kingdom to defend the interests of these islands through legal challenge and representations to the United Nations, should that become necessary.”