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Same Sex Marriage: Lord Ahmad rejects imposing it on the OTs

Same Sex Marriage: Lord Ahmad rejects imposing it on the OTs

When Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister of State for the Overseas Territories at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), visited Montserrat from May 30 to June 1 (24 hours) after landing at John Osborne airport, he had already visited Anguilla and Cayman Islands on what was described as a week-long trip to the region, according to the release from the Governor’s office announcing his visit.

From all reactions he left kind impressions also from the other Overseas Territories (OTs). Lord Ahmad who as we (the media) might expect was coming with a prepared message,

His message was pretty much the same throughout, in Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and finally in Montserrat.

We knew Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands would have very special interest in the public registers of Beneficial Ownership, and the ensuing controversy over the passage in the British parliament of the recent Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which imposes public registers on the territories. Anguilla of course would have had special questions regarding the budgetary quarrel that had developed especially after the devastation of Maria, likewise BVI, as we also reported on couple months ago.

Preparing for his visit to Cayman and indeed the region, Lord Ahmad had already said: “We strongly value the relationship between the UK and the overseas territories and will work closely with the overseas territories governments to find a solution which works for everyone.”

In the Cayman Islands the report was that he met the cabinet, opposition and senior members of the financial services industry to hear their views on public registers. With that matter being even more sensitive in those territories to include the British Virgin Islands (BVI), he promised that the UK will work closely with the Overseas Territories to ensure the best possible outcome.

“The UK has provided critical aid and support across the region to assist in recovery from last year’s widespread devastation, and we can already see this help from the UK has made a real difference on the ground,” Lord Ahmad said in Cayman in a release from the governor’s office.

“However, there’s more that needs to be done. We will continue to work extremely closely with the British Overseas Territories, as well as the rest of the Caribbean, to make sure that the region has plans in place to prepare for, and better withstand, future hurricanes,” he said.

He reported his pleasure to meet RCIPS Air Operations Unit today and see the helicopter which played a vital and lifesaving role helping Turks and Caicos Islands after last year’s hurricanes. And more commonly welcomed update from the islands on plans being put in place for this year’s hurricane season.

There he took and answered questions from the local media whweere the scenario was much the same as here in Montserrat about public registers of beneficial ownership and how the Overseas Territories and the UK are prepared for this hurricane season.

In the Cayman Islands they even credited him for the good weather – “Great to welcome UK Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon @tariqahmadbt to our beautiful islands. He met all my Government and brought us a lovely gift from the House of Lords. After weeks of rain the sun appeared!” they tweeted.

In Montserrat, his too brief press conference took place after he had met with ENDPRAC members where they discussed according to him, “certain provisions which were highlighted which were required…” Well I think we’ve been making reasonably solid progress and I would say thank you to the Foreign Office for its help from Montserrat with $350,000 – $500,000 worth of more immediate and sort of light personal kits for Hurricanes,” he noted, confirming later to the media that these are actually on their way, but were too much to be sent in with the visiting RFA Mounts Bay.

He continued with the list, “…things like jackets and torches that sort of equipment we have discussed here in this recent NDPRAC meeting the issue of a digger derrick which I think we’ve been clear on all of us is a significant risk to us here if we were hit by a hurricane.”

He noted that there could be a large number of all pylons and cables pulled down by the wind leaving an issue as to how quickly that can be put back up and running, informing also, “the Minister has asked us to look in a strategic way how we can solve that.”

The Governor also noted, that, “The Foreign Office colleagues are working with the DMCA here on how best to address that. We haven’t yet got the solutions. We shouldn’t pretend we have it – that is a significant gap we need to address.”

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When Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister of State for the Overseas Territories at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), visited Montserrat from May 30 to June 1 (24 hours) after landing at John Osborne airport, he had already visited Anguilla and Cayman Islands on what was described as a week-long trip to the region, according to the release from the Governor’s office announcing his visit.

From all reactions he left kind impressions also from the other Overseas Territories (OTs). Lord Ahmad who as we (the media) might expect was coming with a prepared message,

His message was pretty much the same throughout, in Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and finally in Montserrat.

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We knew Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands would have very special interest in the public registers of Beneficial Ownership, and the ensuing controversy over the passage in the British parliament of the recent Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which imposes public registers on the territories. Anguilla of course would have had special questions regarding the budgetary quarrel that had developed especially after the devastation of Maria, likewise BVI, as we also reported on couple months ago.

Preparing for his visit to Cayman and indeed the region, Lord Ahmad had already said: “We strongly value the relationship between the UK and the overseas territories and will work closely with the overseas territories governments to find a solution which works for everyone.”

In the Cayman Islands the report was that he met the cabinet, opposition and senior members of the financial services industry to hear their views on public registers. With that matter being even more sensitive in those territories to include the British Virgin Islands (BVI), he promised that the UK will work closely with the Overseas Territories to ensure the best possible outcome.

“The UK has provided critical aid and support across the region to assist in recovery from last year’s widespread devastation, and we can already see this help from the UK has made a real difference on the ground,” Lord Ahmad said in Cayman in a release from the governor’s office.

“However, there’s more that needs to be done. We will continue to work extremely closely with the British Overseas Territories, as well as the rest of the Caribbean, to make sure that the region has plans in place to prepare for, and better withstand, future hurricanes,” he said.

He reported his pleasure to meet RCIPS Air Operations Unit today and see the helicopter which played a vital and lifesaving role helping Turks and Caicos Islands after last year’s hurricanes. And more commonly welcomed update from the islands on plans being put in place for this year’s hurricane season.

There he took and answered questions from the local media whweere the scenario was much the same as here in Montserrat about public registers of beneficial ownership and how the Overseas Territories and the UK are prepared for this hurricane season.

In the Cayman Islands they even credited him for the good weather – “Great to welcome UK Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon @tariqahmadbt to our beautiful islands. He met all my Government and brought us a lovely gift from the House of Lords. After weeks of rain the sun appeared!” they tweeted.

In Montserrat, his too brief press conference took place after he had met with ENDPRAC members where they discussed according to him, “certain provisions which were highlighted which were required…” Well I think we’ve been making reasonably solid progress and I would say thank you to the Foreign Office for its help from Montserrat with $350,000 – $500,000 worth of more immediate and sort of light personal kits for Hurricanes,” he noted, confirming later to the media that these are actually on their way, but were too much to be sent in with the visiting RFA Mounts Bay.

He continued with the list, “…things like jackets and torches that sort of equipment we have discussed here in this recent NDPRAC meeting the issue of a digger derrick which I think we’ve been clear on all of us is a significant risk to us here if we were hit by a hurricane.”

He noted that there could be a large number of all pylons and cables pulled down by the wind leaving an issue as to how quickly that can be put back up and running, informing also, “the Minister has asked us to look in a strategic way how we can solve that.”

The Governor also noted, that, “The Foreign Office colleagues are working with the DMCA here on how best to address that. We haven’t yet got the solutions. We shouldn’t pretend we have it – that is a significant gap we need to address.”