Categorized | Local, News

Premier Meade, “sick and tired with studies and consultations”

Premier Reuben Meade

On November 16, His Excellency Governor Adrian Davis at their joint press conference last week, while calmly noting and summarising the agenda of the just completed annual British Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC) meeting in London this week, the Hon. Premier Reuben Meade was fiery in his criticisms of HMG for what he considers as ‘nonsense delays’ of Montserrat’s solutions for and progress to economic development.

Both the Governor and the Premier departed for London on the weekend for the meeting that was held on November 23-24, with the Premier attending bi-lateral meetings with both FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office) and DFID (Department for International Development) ministers on Nov. 22. He is accompanied for these meetings by Financial Secretary, Hon. John Skerritt, Attorney General Hon. Esco Henry, and Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Angela Greenaway.

Governor Davis told the press that at the meetings the discussions would focus on the White Paper, the overseas territories strategy, looking at Aviation safety, financial services and economic development and good governance, financial management, and economic planning. These were later confirmed by a release from HMG host minister Henry Bellingham under the theme ‘A New strategy for British overseas territories’. There would also be discussions on criminal justice, and environment and climate change.

The Council was to be attended by ministers from the Departments for International Development; Transport; Environment; Energy and Climate Change; the Treasury; Home Office; Ministry of Defence; Culture, Media and Sport; and Business, Innovation and Skills.

But Premier Meade noted at the press conference his own principal focus for the meetings. “I’ve had enough of studies and consultations,” he said, adding, “I think it is time for us to start moving forward on developmental issues and stop studying things to death,” and that he said would be his principal focus.

The Premier was critical of Montserrat’s position regarding the costs attendant to the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA ) and the Air Safety Support International (ASSI) under which Britain operates. Answering questions on the issue Governor Davis corrected that at the moment Montserrat did not pay directly under ASSI but in two years will have to find ways to meet 140,000 British pounds.

His Excellency The Governor Adrian Davis

The premier contended it made no sense to be operating in our small space under ASSI and fly into Antigua space under ECCAA. Noting that Montserrat pays money to ECCAA, he said he would be discussing the matter at the meetings in the UK. “The UK must be developmental in its thinking and not protectionist…HMG must stop trying to shove things down the throats of the Overseas Territories” he suggested in conclusion.

But having addressed the matter of Montserrat’s participation and involvement in the OECS (Organisation of East Caribbean States) A lot of the ‘rubbish’ questions that are being asked over the past two years by the FCO in relation to the OECS, I am sick and tired of them, they keep repeating the same questions,” as he questioned further and suggested that it was time for them (UK) “to give us permission to sign-on…”

The Premier later still speaking on OECS matters and entrustments referred to civil servants in the UK asking “the OECS to give a commitment in writing that a derogation will be granted, is absolute rubbish…,” as he compared decisions taken at the European Union by ministers against decisions taken at the OECS by heads of government.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Premier Reuben Meade

On November 16, His Excellency Governor Adrian Davis at their joint press conference last week, while calmly noting and summarising the agenda of the just completed annual British Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC) meeting in London this week, the Hon. Premier Reuben Meade was fiery in his criticisms of HMG for what he considers as ‘nonsense delays’ of Montserrat’s solutions for and progress to economic development.

Both the Governor and the Premier departed for London on the weekend for the meeting that was held on November 23-24, with the Premier attending bi-lateral meetings with both FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office) and DFID (Department for International Development) ministers on Nov. 22. He is accompanied for these meetings by Financial Secretary, Hon. John Skerritt, Attorney General Hon. Esco Henry, and Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Angela Greenaway.

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Governor Davis told the press that at the meetings the discussions would focus on the White Paper, the overseas territories strategy, looking at Aviation safety, financial services and economic development and good governance, financial management, and economic planning. These were later confirmed by a release from HMG host minister Henry Bellingham under the theme ‘A New strategy for British overseas territories’. There would also be discussions on criminal justice, and environment and climate change.

The Council was to be attended by ministers from the Departments for International Development; Transport; Environment; Energy and Climate Change; the Treasury; Home Office; Ministry of Defence; Culture, Media and Sport; and Business, Innovation and Skills.

But Premier Meade noted at the press conference his own principal focus for the meetings. “I’ve had enough of studies and consultations,” he said, adding, “I think it is time for us to start moving forward on developmental issues and stop studying things to death,” and that he said would be his principal focus.

The Premier was critical of Montserrat’s position regarding the costs attendant to the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA ) and the Air Safety Support International (ASSI) under which Britain operates. Answering questions on the issue Governor Davis corrected that at the moment Montserrat did not pay directly under ASSI but in two years will have to find ways to meet 140,000 British pounds.

His Excellency The Governor Adrian Davis

The premier contended it made no sense to be operating in our small space under ASSI and fly into Antigua space under ECCAA. Noting that Montserrat pays money to ECCAA, he said he would be discussing the matter at the meetings in the UK. “The UK must be developmental in its thinking and not protectionist…HMG must stop trying to shove things down the throats of the Overseas Territories” he suggested in conclusion.

But having addressed the matter of Montserrat’s participation and involvement in the OECS (Organisation of East Caribbean States) A lot of the ‘rubbish’ questions that are being asked over the past two years by the FCO in relation to the OECS, I am sick and tired of them, they keep repeating the same questions,” as he questioned further and suggested that it was time for them (UK) “to give us permission to sign-on…”

The Premier later still speaking on OECS matters and entrustments referred to civil servants in the UK asking “the OECS to give a commitment in writing that a derogation will be granted, is absolute rubbish…,” as he compared decisions taken at the European Union by ministers against decisions taken at the OECS by heads of government.