Representatives from several UK Overseas Territories rolled up their sleeves and got down to business Wednesday (26 June) as this year’s pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting kicked off.
More than fifty delegates from ten UKOTA member states and UK representatives took on the day’s packed agenda, tackling issues like Brexit, beneficial ownership, trade, and the environment.
Delegates went into Wednesday’s sessions with a positive outlook.
“There very much is a mood of togetherness and being united as a region, and a lot of optimism towards what the future holds for the overseas territories with the United Kingdom post-Brexit.”
Optimism Wednesday morning from Planning Minister Hon. Joey Hew as the pre-JMC meetings got underway.
He said the Brexit uncertainty could spell opportunity for the Overseas Territories and for that reason, the Pre-JMC was combined with an international trade summit with the UK.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for not only for the Cayman Islands but for the other overseas territories to have an opportunity to have open dialogue and discussions and brainstorm over ways in which we can participate with United Kingdom in a post Brexit era.”
“Together, everybody is stronger.”
UKOTA chair Kendell Worbois, St. Helena government UK representative said the Overseas Territories generally support each other despite their differences.
“As a group, we are very united so we support our fellow territory even when it doesn’t directly impact us.”
Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin chaired Wednesday’s Pre-JMC.
Mr. Hew said the aim was to build consensus in advance of the joint ministerial council expected for November.
“We are happy and able to host everyone here today and participate in what we hope to be a unified front and working along with the united kingdom and for the interest of the territories.”