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Prime Minister Theresa May greets Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Downing Street (Photo Getty Images)

Leo Varadkar warns Brexit will bring UK ‘decades of economic decline’

Irish Taoiseach says the UK is struggling to get to grips with its loss of global status

Prime Minister Theresa May greets Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Downing Street (Photo Getty Images)

Ireland’s leader dramatically stepped up the war of words with Westminster yesterday after he predicted the UK would fall into economic decline for decades post-Brexit.

Brexit is undermining 20 years of peace in Ireland, Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar says

In a blistering attack on the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claimed the country was struggling to come to terms with its diminishing importance on the world stage.

And he warned it would be overtaken as an economic powerhouse first by its European neighbours, followed by the rising powers in Asia.

Irish history

Mr Varadkar pointed to Ireland’s own push for independence from the British Empire 100 years ago, which he described “as the wealthiest and most successful trading bloc in the world at the time”.

The economic case for Irish independence was “weak”, he said, adding it took Ireland 40 years to make economic progress, and he predicted similar problems for the UK post-Brexit.

In an interview with Irish radio station Newstalk, Mr Varadkar said: “A consequence of Brexit for Britain is that it will fall into relative economic decline for many decades, probably be overtaken by France again and slowly over time it’ll be overtaken by lots of countries in Asia.

A lorry passes a poster by calling for “No Border” between Ireland and Northern Ireland, in a post Brexit United the anti-brexit campaign group “Border communities against Brexit” in Jonesborough, Northern Ireland on March 25, 2019, as it crosses the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. – Keeping the Irish border free-flowing has proved to be the toughest issue to resolve in negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union. The Brexit deal between London and Brussels — overwhelmingly rejected last week by British MPs — contains a so-called backstop provision ensuring that if all else fails, the border will remain open. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP)PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

‘’One of the difficulties for Britain is they’re struggling to cope with the fact that as a country and an economy they’re not as important in the world as they used to be.”

The Irish premier pointed to growing populations and emerging economies in Asia, such as India, Korea and Vietnam, which were poised to overtake the UK economically.

And he added: “It’s inevitable and that’s why most European countries understand why we need to get together, stick together and integrate so we can preserve our way of life, our prosperity, our peace and security.

Sun setting on Britain

“Britain has never really fully accepted that in the way that France and Germany and Italy did after the war.”

Asked whether Brexit meant that “finally the sun was setting on the British Empire”, he replied: “Perhaps, but that’s their choice, it’s their decision. We have to respect the decisions they make.” Arch-Brexiteer Steve Baker resisted criticising the comments, stating: “I wish him well and I hope we find ways to flourish together because our success will be Ireland’s success.”

https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-and-jeremy-hunt-spark-twitter-war-as-bbc-andrew-neil-interview-aired/

https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/government-faces-judicial-review-over-eu-citizens-denied-the-vote/

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, International, Local, Politics, Regional, UK - Brexit1 Comment

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Vega Rocket Suffers ‘Major Anomaly’ During Launch of UAE Satellite


https://www.space.com/vega-rocket-failure-major-launch-anomaly-falconeye1.html?utm_source=notification

By Elizabeth Howell 10 hours ago Spaceflight 

Something went very wrong 2 minutes after liftoff.

https://www.space.com/vega-rocket-failure-major-launch-anomaly-falconeye1.html?utm_source=notification&jwsource=cl

European Vega rocket suffered a “major anomaly” while launching a satellite for the United Arab Emirates late Wednesday (July 10), leading to the loss of the rocket and its payload, according to Arianespace, which built the booster. 

The Vega rocket launched the FalconEye1 Earth-observation satellite for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff occurred at 9:53 p.m. EDT (10:53 p.m. local time, or 0153 GMT July 11). The nighttime liftoff was a dazzling sight, but then something went very wrong.

“About 2 minutes after liftoff … a major anomaly occurred, resulting in the loss of the mission,” said Luce Fabreguettes, Arianespace’s Executive Vice President of Missions, Operations and Purchasing, in a televised statement just after the failed launch.

Related: Europe’s Vega Rocket Launches on 1st Flight (Gallery)

Fabreguettes said Arianespace wanted to “express our deepest apologies for the loss of our payload.” She added that officials would look at data from the launch and provide more information as they investigate what happened.

The launch trajectory shown on the broadcast appeared to deviate from the normal track shortly after the Vega rocket’s liftoff, Arianespace officials said shortly after launch. Some observers on Twitter watching Arianespace’s live launch webcast speculated that the Vega booster’s second stage did not appear to light up at the planned time, although this has not been confirmed yet by Arianespace.Vega Rocket Suffers Anomaly – Arianespace Apologizes to Customer

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FalconEye1 was to be the first in a planned pair of satellites to be used for everything from crop monitoring to disaster management. It and a twin satellite, FalconEye2, were planned to image the ground in high-resolution optical wavelengths (similar to wavelengths that the human eye can see). 

FalconEye1 had a mass of roughly 2,600 pounds (1,200 kg), which is relatively small; the Hubble Space Telescope, for example, had about 10 times that launch mass. Airbus Defence and Space was the satellite’s prime contractor, and Thales Alenia Space the co-prime.

https://www.space.com/vega-rocket-failure-major-launch-anomaly-falconeye1.html?utm_source=notification&jwsource=cl

This launch trajectory of the Arianespace Vega rocket VV15 shows an apparent deviation (in yellow) from its planned trajectory (shown in green) during the launch of the UAE satellite FalconEye1 on July 10, 2019. The rocket and satellite were lost.

Arianespace’s Vega rocket is a light-lift vehicle that stands 98 feet (30 meters) tall and is 10 feet (3 meters) wide at its widest point. It has four stages to launch payloads into orbit — the first three have solid propellants and the final, upper stage is a restartable stage fueled by liquid propellant. 

The first Vega launch occurred in 2012 from the Guiana Space Center. Tonight’s anomaly is the first failure for the relatively young booster. It was sixth Vega launch in 2019 and the 15th overall since Vega began flying.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Featured, International, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

Indian businessman files appeal against High Court ruling

Indian businessman files appeal against High Court ruling

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Jul 10, CMC – An Indian-born businessman facing extradition to his homeland, has filed an appeal against a High Court ruling denying him permission to bring in an expert to challenge the validity of the extradition request from New Delhi.

“We had before the court an application to adduce expert evidence on Indian law as to exactly when did it became lawful for India to make extradition requests of Antigua. The judge, Justice Rita Olivetti denied the application and we indicated to the court that we would want leave to appeal her decision,” attorney Dr. David Dorsett said on a radio programme here.

Mehul Choksi (File Photo)

He said as a result of the filing of the appeal on Monday, the extradition proceedings against his client, Mehul Choksi, have been put on hold.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has already said the citizenship of the billionaire diamond trader would be revoked only after he exhausts all his legal options.

Choksi, who is wanted in India for allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB), gained citizenship of the Caribbean island under the island’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) that allowed for foreign investors to make a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of Antigua and Barbuda in return for granting citizenship.

Browne said that Choksi’s citizenship was processed, “but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India; so there is recourse. It’s not a case that we are trying to provide any safe harbour for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes”.

“We have to allow for due process. He has a matter before the court and as we said to the Indian government, criminals have fundamental rights, too, and Choksi has a right to go to court and defend his position. But I can assure you, after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited,” Browne said.

Dorsett has indicated that should his appeal fails, he is prepared to take the matter before the London-based Privy Council, the island’s highest and final court.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Court, Crime, International, Legal, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Prime Minster Gaston Browne speaking to CMC (CMC Photo)

Antigua PM advocates need for Caribbean bank to deal with corresponding banking

By Peter Richards

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Jul 3, CMC – Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne Wednesday called for the establishment of a Caribbean bank that would allow the region to counteract the position of international banks regarding corresponding banking.

Caribbean countries have been arguing that the threat by banks in developed countries to withdraw correspondent banking services would exclude the region from the global finance and trading system with grave consequences for maintenance of financial stability, economic growth, remittance flows and poverty alleviation.

Prime Minster Gaston Browne speaking to CMC (CMC Photo)


Browne, who is leading the region’s response to the issue, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the region has been making “slow progress” on dealing with the matter.

“But at the same time there’s still a problem. The corresponding banks continue to take this policy of risk and return, so as far as they are concerned the banks in the OECS (Organistion of Eastern Caribbean States)  in particular are too small and they are in essence looking to bank larger banks within the region which then forces us to consolidate to have bigger banks.

There may even be the need for us to have a Caribbean bank, that is a bank that is owned by various indigenous banks in the Caribbean and one that could have branches in the US diaspora, UK diaspora (and) Canadian diaspora in order to provide services to the Caribbean in the diaspora.”

He said such an initiative would allow for the provision of corresponding banking in the region, especially the smaller ones.

“My understanding is that there is an informal threshold about a billions US dollars, so that generally speaking, banks that have less than a billion US dollars would almost be not bankable for corresponding banking”.

The Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, who is here to attend the 40th meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders, said the irony of the entire situation is that “most of our banks, have less than one billion US in assets.

“It has been a very difficult proposition for us. However we have decided to raise the ante and to increase our advocacy because corresponding banking in essence is a public global good so I cannot be looked upon exclusively from the standpoint of risk and return because in essence if we were to do that then you would be literally de-bank certain regions and certain countries”.

Browne said the region would continue to bring greater awareness to the various stakeholders including regulators in the United States, Europe and Canada to some extent “so that they could understand it is not just about risk and return but it is really about a fundamental right.

“Every single human being should have the right to move money and to receive money. If you can’t move money and you can’t receive that money then it means that you can’t purchase goods and you can’t get paid for the services that you provide”.

In-coming CARICOM chairman and host Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, said he welcomed the idea of establishing a single Caribbean bank, adding “we have also come to the conclusion we now need to reduce that risk”.

He said a former governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) had indicated a solution would be to have all of the indigenous banks in the region to form one bank.

He said whilst this may be a difficult proposition “what we have been talking about is to form one compliance authority,” adding “that’s the change.

“The world did not understand what compliance was before, it’s the fastest growing industry in the whole world in terms of compliance because as you ask one question it compels you to ask many more questions.

“In my humble opinion, what has happened is that we have become so intimidated by the loss of corresponding banking that our own compliance agencies have become excessive and in some times it is now reducing the size of the amount of money coming down in and out of our region.

“So by creating one compliance department that is properly manned and the indigenous banks would pay for those services on a use basis that may be a way to solve the problem …and I think Prime Minister Browne is 100 per cent right if in fact that is not moving fast enough”.

He said another way of looking at the problem of corresponding banking is to follow the Mexico model  and work with the country “and use their banks to assist us”,

Prime Minister Browne said he believes the region should also consider getting together and purchase Scotiabank operations in the region.

“I thought that was an excellent opportunity for the OECS counties in particular to come together and purchase the branches,” he said noting that it would have required at least 98 million US dollars for the nine branches “with perhaps about three billion UIS dollars in assets

“I thought that was an excellent opportunity for the region which would have helped us to have one major bank that would have branches in the diaspora to provide banking services to Caribbean people in the diaspora,” Browne said.

Last November, the Trinidad-based Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) announced that it was seeking to acquire Scotiabank operations in several Caribbean countries.

Antigua and Barbuda and Guyana had initially expressed reservations about the proposed acquisition, with St. John’s indicating that it would not be issuing a vesting order to facilitate the move.

The RFHL statement said that the banks being acquired are located in Guyana, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

It said that the purchase price is US$123 million, which represents US$25 million consideration for total shareholding of Scotiabank Anguilla Limited; and a premium of US$98 million over net asset value for operations in the remaining eight countries.

Antigua and Barbuda has said that it wants assurances that local banks will be given priority to purchase Scotiabank’s operations on the island and that local persons’ investments and savings will be protected.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Features, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

LiveScience logo

A Massive Seaweed Bloom Is Smothering Life from the Caribbean to West Africa

By Grant Currin, Live Science Contributor | July 5, 2019

A Massive Seaweed Bloom Is Smothering Life from the Caribbean to West Africa
A huge bloom of Sargassum seaweed is clogging up the Florida Keys. Credit: Brian Lapointe, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

For eight years, thick mats of seaweed have smothered coral reefs, trapped sea turtles and brought economic instability to coastal communities as reddish-brown gobs of foul-smelling sargassum wash onto beaches along the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and tropical Atlantic.

These phenomena are symptoms of a massive seaweed bloom scientists are calling the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt. Researchers describe the belt and explore its causes in a study published July 4 in the journal Science.

Stretching up to 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) from the Gulf of Mexico to just off the coast of western Africa, the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt appears to be the product of natural and human-caused factors.

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“We analyzed almost 20 years of satellite records,” Mengqiu Wang, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of South Florida and co-author on the study, told Live Science. [Earth from Above: 101 Stunning Images from Orbit]

The researchers analyzed a dataset that predates the belt’s first appearance in 2011, allowing them to investigate the long-term environmental changes that set the stage for the year-to-year variations in the growth of the bloom.

They identified a tipping point around 2009 when discharge from the Amazon River brought unusually high levels of nutrients into the Atlantic Ocean. Upwelling of nutrient-rich water off the west coast of Africa in the winter of 2010 further enriched surface waters with deep-sea nutrients; that upwelling also lowered temperatures of that surface water, allowing sargassum to thrive in the summer of 2011.

A similar combination of factors led to especially large blooms in 2014, 2015 and 2017. The largest recorded bloom occurred in 2018, when the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt grew to a mass of more than 20 million metric tons. The high levels of nutrients from the Amazon River come from deforestation and fertilizer use in the Amazon basin.

Under normal circumstances, sargassum provides critical habitat for marine life. The seaweed oases attract fish, birds and sea turtles as well. Dolphins and sea turtles also benefit from the tiny patches of life floating in the open ocean, but thick mats of sargassum pose big problems for some wildlife and coastal communities.

Mengqiu Wang was performing field work in the Gulf of Mexico last year when she saw dolphins seeming to enjoy their foray through the Sargassum.
Mengqiu Wang was performing field work in the Gulf of Mexico last year when she saw dolphins seeming to enjoy their foray through the Sargassum. Credit: University of South Florida

“As sargassum decays it consumes the oxygen, creating low oxygen conditions, which is not a good condition for marine life in a coastal ecosystem,” Wang said. Coral reefs and seagrass ecosystems can suffer when high levels of sargassum change water chemistry and block organisms from moving freely.

“Sea turtles sometimes can’t swim through the dense mats to return to open water after laying their eggs,” she said.

The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt is also having an effect on coastal tourism. Barbados declared a state of emergency in 2018, according to a government statement, as sargassum piled onto the beaches the island nation relies upon to draw tourists.

“The negative impacts occur when sargassum starts to pile up on the beaches,” Wang said. In addition to disrupting coastal ecosystems, decaying sargassum releases hydrogen sulfide, a potentially harmful gas that smells like rotten eggs.

Originally published on Live Science.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

VAC AD - IT Officer ECSE

Vacancy – ECSE – IT Officer

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Local, OECS, Regional, Vacancies0 Comments

BOM logo

Bank of Montserrat Limited – Vacancy – General Manager

Bank of Montserrat Limited
P. O. Box 10
Brades, Montserrat, West Indies

The Bank of Montserrat is seeking qualified candidates with strong leadership qualities and diverse banking experience to fill the position of General Manager.

OVERVIEW
The successful individual will be responsible for the overall operation of the bank. In addition to a thorough understanding of all aspects of leading a bank, the successful candidate must have an equally good grasp of the technological and regulatory aspects of banking in today’s environment and beyond. He or she must be results-orientedd, focused on delivering on the key short term and long term strategic and operational goals of the bank. He or she will be the face of the bank both locally and through the diaspora. This individual will also be an excellent team leader being able to manage and motivate a diverse staff to ensure maximum productivity and professional development. Key to success will be having an excellent working relationship with the Board of Directors.

Experience
• Relevant working knowing of the ECCU banking sector
• Strong credit underwriting, recovery and loan administration
• Strong experience in investment management, securities trading, and structuring securities and brokerage service
• In-depth understanding of financial accounting, analysis and reporting
• Working knowledge of banking applications & digital platforms –Jack Henry suite of products, CRM, Alchemy, Yellowhammer, or equivalent systems
• Strong balance sheet management/asset liability management
• Experience in liquidity risk management and contingency planning
• In-depth knowledge and experience in treasury management
• Working knowledge of Enterprise Risk Management, AML &compliance programs.
• In-depth understanding of the regulatory environment, including the current and new regulations facing the banking industry
• Hands-on experience in preparing policy documents,writing/developing strategic plans etc.
• Experience working with and reporting to Board of Directors
• Human resource management


KEY RESPONSIBILITIES
• Lead all aspects of the banking operations, including loans, IT, treasury management and investments.
• Ensure that the bank meets or exceeds both its short-term and long-term financial and operational goals.
• Research and present technological and other solutions that will ensure that the bank is operating at optimal efficiency.
• Ensure compliance with all financial, regulatory, compliance and/or operational standards, and guidelines.
• Be creative in developing promotions and campaigns to grow the bank loan portfolio
• Be the bank’s ambassador to its local and diaspora customers.
• Be a leading voice on Banking and Financial issues on the island and partake in or participate in discussions that may promote or defend the bank’s position on such matters.
• Maintain relationships with all key vendors and suppliers.
• Ensure that the bank is the “Go to bank” on Montserrat. This includes:
o a full suite of banking products and services that meets the needs of all our clients;
o ensure that the bank’ s pricing of its products and services are competitive;
o be an active leader in the community;
o ensuring that in-person and remote/online banking customers have a smooth and efficient banking experience;
o report to the Board and its various committees on a regularly scheduled basis or an as-needed basis;

Required qualifications and skills:
• Bachelors Degree in Banking or Finance
• MBA or Masters in Banking & Finance Preferred
• A minimum of 15 years in banking with 10 years at an executive level. Experience which must include bank operations, lending and investment management
• Ability to interact with all levels of individuals.
• Experience leading an indigenous bank strongly preferred
• Prior experience working directly with boards is essential.
• Experience with Core Director, Yellow Hammer, Alchemy, World Check, preferred.

Submit resume and cover letter to the Chairman Bank of Montserrat, gmrecruitment@bankofmontserrat.ms.

Application deadline is August 2nd, 2019.

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Police seek expats who absconded from Bermuda

Police seek expats who absconded from Bermuda

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Jul 4, CMC – The Police have launched an international manhunt for two former expatriate workers accused of fraud who they say have absconded from Bermuda.

Criminal charges involving US$1.8 million have been approved against the former chief financial officer of a Bermuda-based reinsurance company.

Yuval Abraham, who worked at Hiscox and whose whereabouts are unknown, faces eight counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception and nine counts of false accounting.

He is also charged with an attempt to obtain a money order by deception and one count of money laundering.

Acting Detective Superintendent Nicholas Pedro said an arrest warrant had been issued for Abraham, who has links to the United Kingdom, South Africa, Poland and Israel.

A second manhunt is under way for a Bermuda-based international life insurance company owner accused of investor fraud involving millions of dollars.

Ramesh Dusoruth, owner of St George’s Ltd, faces a charge of fraudulent inducement to deposit or invest and another of transferring criminal property.

He is also charged with three counts of transmission of false information to the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Dusoruth was arrested and charged with the offences, but failed to appear in Magistrates’ Court on March 21 and an arrest warrant was issued.

Pedro said Dusoruth is known to have business interests in Cyprus, Malta and Holland and has homes in London and Antwerp in Belgium.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Crime, Features, International, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

CDB moves closer to finalising youth policy and strategy

CDB moves closer to finalising youth policy and strategy

by STAFF WRITER

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jul. 4, CMC- The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says that is moving closer to finalising its first Youth Policy and Operational Strategy (YPOS), which will guide its youth-related investments in the Region.

Stakeholders from 17 of CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs)  recently met here for a regional workshop to discuss recommendations coming from the consultations and youth study the Bank has been conducting to inform and shape the YPOS.

The workshop brought together a range of stakeholders in youth development, including permanent secretaries, directors of youth, youth leaders, and representatives from academia and development organisations.

Director of Projects at CDB, Daniel Best noted that the Bank has provided over US$1-billion for youth development programmes and projects over its nearly 50 years of existence, but has not, to date, adopted a dedicated policy and strategy to guide these investments.

“Despite encouraging results from projects which impact our youth, we acknowledge that there is room for even better youth development outcomes.”

He said the YPOS is an important initiative for CDB as positive youth development outcomes align with CDB’s strategic priorities and are essential to the Region’s sustainable development.

“This forum matters a lot to us at the Bank given our mandate to reduce poverty in our Borrowing Member Countries. This will only be possible if we create societies in which our youth can thrive. More than 60% of our region’s population is under the age of 30; this group represents a valuable resource for the sustainable development of our Region,” he said.

During the two-day workshop, participants discussed the preliminary findings from the study of the youth development context in BMCs and identified key priority areas that require further work in their countries. They also reviewed the first draft of the YPOS, making contributions to develop and refine it.

The Youth Policy and Operational Strategy is set to be completed in the last quarter of 2019.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Features, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

logo-retina-544x180 Cayman Compass

Leaders unite against ‘modern colonialism’

By James Whittaker – June 27, 2019

From left, Anguilla Premier Victor F. Banks, Gibraltar Minister for Commerce Albert Isola, Bermuda Premier David Burt, Falkland Islands MLA Teslyn Barkman, Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin, Turks and Caicos Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo and British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Fahie; who attended Wednesday’s Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting and Thursday’s International Trade Summit. – Photo: Taneos Ramsay

Britain’s Overseas Territories say they will “stand together” to defend their right to self-government amid increasing concerns over “constitutional overreach” from the UK.

Any attempts to enforce legislation from Westminster on issues ranging from same-sex marriage to ‘belongership’ and financial services regulation will be strongly resisted, according to leaders of several territories, following talks in Grand Cayman this week.

Despite the disparate concerns of the various territories, leaders from the Falklands to Bermuda were united in their opposition to the UK dictating policy from thousands of miles away.

A UK law seeking to impose public registers of beneficial ownership on Britain’s territories – seen as a threat to the financial services industry – is a key concern for several islands.

“Modern-day colonialism is what is being attempted by those persons is Westminster, and I am certain that all Overseas Territories will resist it vociferously,” Bermuda Premier David Burt said at a press conference following the summit at the Kimpton Seafire Hotel on Wednesday.

Flow

Several other leaders expressed similar concerns, and insisted the pressure from the UK on various issues is helping them to forge closer bonds as they seek to resist what they see as constitutional overreach from the mother country.

“I see a beacon of hope with our team here, because we all realise that divided we fall, united we stand,” said Andrew Fahie, premier of the British Virgin Islands.

A recent report from a Foreign Affairs Select Committee, which included a number of suggestions including recommendations that the UK government force its territories to adopt same-sex marriage legislation and open discussions on allowing resident UK citizens to vote and stand for election, is also stoking controversy.

Though the current British government says it has no plans to follow through on the report’s recommendations, the uncertainty and instability in UK politics amid a Conservative party leadership battle, division over Brexit and the possibility of a general election, is fuelling concern.

Burt said it was possible that the report’s recommendations could gain traction in a new government, and highlighted the possibility that some of its authors could be part of a future government.

“It is sad to see persons who don’t have a familiarity [with the various islands] reverting to a position we thought was long gone, where Westminster feels able to dictate to the Overseas Territories,” he added.

Albert Isola, Gibraltar’s minister for commerce, said the specifics of the issues at stake were largely irrelevant. He said it was “anti-democratic” of the UK to attempt to make laws for its territories on issues that were the responsibility of the elected governments.

“There is no way today we can accept modern colonialism through the back door by allowing these things to happen. On that, as has been demonstrated today, we are all 100 percent on the same page,” he said.

The report caused ripples as far away as the Falklands. Teslyn Barkman, a legislator from the islands, off the coast of Argentina, said it was omitted entirely from the report, but could be faced with the impact of its findings.

She said the recommendation that UK citizens be given the right to vote and run for office in the territories was the most controversial.

“You are talking about giving UK citizens the right to vote in a population of 3,000. You could very quickly have a population of UK citizens who don’t know the territory’s needs or priorities, or care about the long-term viability of the economy.”

Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, of the Turks and Caicos, said she expected pressure from the UK, particularly over voting rights and same-sex marriage, would continue.

“It is a matter of constitutional overreach, and respecting territories rights to choose how they want to govern, how they want to grow their countries, who they want to run in their elections and certainly their culture and religious beliefs,” she said.

Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo said the UK clearly understood the democratic values at stake, because they were fighting for autonomy from the European Union on the basis of the same principles.

“We have just the same right as they have and we need to insist on our right to self determination, and our people need to support us in this regard.”

He urged the leaders around the table to remain united on issues, even when they only affected a handful of islands, and vowed to offer Montserrat’s support to others on issues, like financial services, which do not directly effect the island.

“We have a saying in Montserrat, ‘today for you, tomorrow for me’. I am counting on us to stand together,” he said.

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