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Overseas Territories’s constitutional changes added to UK Pre-JMC agenda, Premier to form council to shape changes

Premier Alden McLaughlin says the issue of constitutional changes has been added to the agenda for June’s pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London.

He said he’s anxious to move ahead with constitutional changes and he’s enlisting the help of senior MLAs to make it happen.

He is establishing a council of parliamentary elders to take Cayman to his ultimate goal of giving Caymanians full control of their own laws.

“This definitely will be, as it needs to be, a cross-party initiative,” he said.

But in order to do so he’s establishing a council of parliamentary elders made-up of members with no less than two years experience. The council’s goal is drafting the proposed changes to take to the House.

“They will be more broadly discussed by all members of the House and eventually, but not very long from now, we will wind up with a public debate in the Legislative Assembly and a formal vote on the package of changes we wish,” the Premier explained.

Once passed the draft changes will then be presented to the UK for discussion.

It’s an issue that was raised during UK Overseas Territories Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad’s visit to Cayman Wednesday (30 May) and it’s something other OTs have had concerns with in the past.

“We are yet to see the detailed propositions from all our Overseas Territories of any concerns. Also, there’s not a one size fits all here. Different territories are in different places, they will have different concerns. It is important that the UK Government acts responsibly,” Lord Ahmad said.

The imposition of public beneficial ownership registries here was also discussed during Lord Ahmad’s visit. He made it clear it was not his choice. He assured the UK OTs the relationship is strong.

Our relationship with the Cayman Islands, our relationship with the overseas territories is not dependent on one decision. 2 years from now we will celebrate 350 years,” he added.

He called for calm on the public registries issue. As for the positions taken by OTs like Cayman not to adhere to the creation of the registries.

“You cannot say that Parliament is sovereign and then not accept its decision. It was not something we as a British government wanted but at the same time the parliament has voted as such we will not work through the detail of that particular decision,” Lord Ahmad said.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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