October 15, 2021

Cayman Islands Premier, delegation start work at JMC in London

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LONDON – Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin gathered with other British Overseas Territories leaders Tuesday at 10 Downing Street for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of the start of their annual Joint Ministerial Council meeting.

At the meeting the Prime Minister advised the OT Leaders that the United Kingdom is committing an additional £70M package of recovery and reconstruction assistance as well as up to £300M of UK loan guarantees for territories impacted by recent hurricanes that need support in obtaining access to loans to help rebuild.

“This meeting, and the additional assistance, was a direct result of the letters that were sent to the Prime Minister and to Lord Ahmad following the special pre-JMC meeting hosted by the Cayman Islands in Miami on October 28th,” said Mr. McLaughlin. “I appreciate that the Prime Minister found additional support for our fellow Caribbean Overseas Territories and that she took time out of her busy schedule to meet with us.”

At the Miami meeting, Caribbean OT leaders discussed the best way to encourage the UK to do more to assist its territories that were devastated from hurricanes this year.

 “I am pleased that by supporting each other we have been able to successfully convince the UK Prime Minister that she should provide more support to territories, but also to ensure that the agenda for the first day of the JMC included matters to do with hurricane recovery and rebuilding,” Mr. McLaughlin said.

Financial Services business was also mentioned by the PM and Mr. McLaughlin took the opportunity to state his appreciation to the UK for the work being done on behalf of OTs regarding the EU list of non-cooperative countries, and the importance for this assistance to territories to continue.  

“I pointed out to the Prime Minister that given all that the Cayman Islands has done over the decades around transparency and in the fight against financial crime, including tax evasion, that we do not belong on any list of non-cooperative countries,” he said. “In fact Cayman has not only cooperated but the work we have done has been recognised by entities such as the OECD. This is not something larger countries can say.”

Following the meeting with the Prime Minister, the Premier, Financial Services and Home Affairs Minister Hon. Tara Rivers and the Cayman delegation attended the JMC meeting at Lancaster House.  The meeting was chaired by Lord Ahmad, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

In the session regarding hurricane relief and recovery, Lord Bates, Minister of State for DfID, along with individuals from Department for International Development and the FCO recovery teams, as well as Public Health England and the Ministry of Defence were present to aid discussion about hurricane relief and recovery.  Lord Ahmad advised those attending of the Prime Minister’s commitment at the meeting with leaders to provide additional assistance to hurricane impacted territories.  Premier McLaughlin requested that the UK consider hosting an annual hurricane preparedness meeting in Miami ahead of the hurricane season to ensure that the UK and territories were as prepared as they can be in the event of storms. This request was agreed to by the UK Government Officials.

The day continued with discussions on rebuilding the tourism and business sectors in the impacted territories, including the need to rebuild stronger and better to allow for better resilience against hurricanes. The Rt. Hon. Penny Morduant, Secretary of State for Development attended these discussions.

The day ended with discussions around UK assistance to territories in matters to do with coastal security against people and drug trafficking as well as building resilience, improving communications, and sustainable economic development.

During the day the Rt. Hon Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary attended to meet briefly with OT Leaders.   

On Tuesday night OT Leaders attended an OT Ministerial Dinner at Lancaster House hosted by Lord Ahmed and Lord Bates.

On Monday Mr. McLaughlin, along with the Cayman Delegation, met with other OT Leaders at the annual meeting of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) Political Council meeting. 

“The UKOTA Political Council meeting gives leaders of the Overseas Territories a chance to gather before we begin meetings of the JMC and to discuss matters relevant to the upcoming JMC sessions,” said Mr. McLaughlin. In addition to the JMC meetings, the delegation will also meet throughout the week with Members of Parliament, UK Officials and others to discuss issues that are germane to the Cayman Islands. 

 Minister Rivers met with Dame Margaret Hodge, Member of Parliament for Barking.  Dame Hodge is a critic of The Cayman Islands as well as other British OTs that have financial services business.  Ms Rivers took the opportunity to discuss concerns that the MP has and sought to assist her in better understanding the work done in Cayman and to show that not only does the Cayman Islands cooperate in regard to tax matters, but that the country provides a benefit to the UK and the world through the work of its Financial Services sector.

“I enjoyed meeting Dame Hodge; and although we expressed our differences of opinion with regards to the financial services business conducted in Cayman, I took the opportunity to strongly present our case based on facts, and I appreciated her willingness to listen,” said Ms Rivers.

 On Monday night, Mr. McLaughlin hosted a dinner at the House of Commons for Members of the Cayman Islands All Party Parliamentary Group and other Members of   Parliament and Peers.

 

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  1. […] Source: Cayman Eye News LONDON – Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin gathered with other British Overseas Territories leaders Tuesday at 10 Downing Street for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of the start of their annual Joint Ministerial Council meeting. At the meeting the Prime Minister advised the OT Leaders that the United Kingdom is… Link: Cayman Islands Premier, delegation start work at JMC in London […]

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