Premier Cannonier upbeat after Overseas Territories meeting
Bermuda is in step with other UK Overseas Territories in its preference for self-determination rather than Independence, according to Premier Craig Cannonier.
Returning from his meeting in Gibraltar with other OT leaders, Mr Cannonier said the group had much in common, with individual members tackling similar issues.
“For example, all territories are working towards job creation and economic growth,” he said. “There was a discussion surrounding employment opportunities and the requirement for expertise in intellectual capital.
“There is also a strong desire for all territories to have the right to ‘self-determination’ as opposed to Independence.
“In a modern day partnership with the UK, it is important to have open discussions on good governance of the territories and the need for global awareness of our collective issues.”
The Premier stated the strongest message from the meetings was the global capabilities of the territories as a whole.
“Collectively we represent half a million people in population,” he said. “On a global basis, we are leaders in international business, environment and biodiversity achievements and are rich in natural resources.”
The purpose of the meeting was to set the agenda and to develop a more cohesive voice when communicating common issues ahead of the upcoming Joint Ministerial Council meeting, to be held between the Overseas Territories and the British Government in London in November.
According to a Government spokesman, the event also created greater partnerships between members “by developing increased synergies for economic diversification amongst the countries, such as the potential for a single market”.
Mr Cannonier is also president of Political Council of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association which also met.
The meeting was attended by leaders from Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falklands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St Helena and the Turks and Caicos.