Government says it has secured the UK’s agreement on the majority of its proposed changes to Cayman’s Constitution.
However, it does not seem likely the UK will remove its ability to legislate for its Overseas Territories.
Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin and his delegation spent two days in constitutional talks with UK officials in London which has been described as “constructive, positive.”
At the end of it, the UK agreed in principle to a majority of Cayman’s proposals, that’s according to a Premier’s Office statement on Wednesday (12 December.)
However, the Premier’s Office declined to specify what was agreed to, telling Cayman 27, the UK has to first formally respond to the government.
“While the discussions are still ongoing we cannot say much more till they are concluded. At this point, the changes will be published and debated in the Legislative Assembly,” said an Office of the Premier statement.
As for the talks, the statement said, UK officials “listened and genuinely sought to be helpful” as they hammered out a plan that works for both sides.
Opposition Leader Hon. Ezzard Miller was involved in those talks.
“The discussions were cordial, disciplined and the UK was receptive to proposals from the Cayman team to improve the governance of Cayman by Caymanians for Caymanians,” said Mr. Miller.
However, the Premier’s Office shared that the UK officials asserted that Britain’s interests and “its ability to ultimately legislate for its territories must remain paramount.”
The Constitutional talks were triggered by this same premise.
Back in May, the UK Parliament voted to impose beneficial ownership registries on all Overseas Territories by 2020 or force the creation by way of an Order in Council.
The order is expected to give all the territories until 2023 for implementation.
The UK has committed to formally respond to Cayman’s proposal in the coming weeks and it will include a draft Order in Council confirming the matters already agreed in principle.
It will also provide the UK’s proposals on how to address the matters left up for consideration.
Now the Premier’s Office said once the UK’s response and draft Order in Council is acceptable to Cayman’s delegation the proposed amendments will be published and debated in the Legislative Assembly. Once approved by legislators the government expects the changes to come into effect in time for the 60th Anniversary Constitutional celebrations in 2019.
Read the Premier’s Office statement here: http://www.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/otphome/announcements/cayman-uk-hold-constructive-constitutional-discussions