Be careful what you ask for on independence
May I start this letter by saying I totally understand the reason why some Bermudians think independence is the best thing for the island.
It is like getting out of college and leaving the family and starting on one’s own. But before we take this leap, it is time for a reality check. First, it is important to realise we have no money. We have a $2 billion debt. That is not a good foundation for a new venture.
Independence is expensive: ambassadors to Washington, with housing and entertainment, along with all the required support staff; high commissioners to London; delegate to the United Nations. These come dear.
Think of the trouble we now have with passports. Do you really think a Bermuda passport will be recognised all over the world? Think of what we go through now. When we lose or misplace our passports, we can now go to the nearest British embassy and they will help you out.
What would you do stranded in Rio de Janeiro, for example? No one to help you. This will not go over well with the travelling Bermuda population.
Is there a guarantee that the United States Government will let us keep the pre-clearance for our passports entering the United States? We might be back to joining the long, long queue of all the other people entering the States.
We all know about the lines in Miami; it might be the same in Britain.
For some Bermudians who are now in Britain enjoying the low-cost schooling and medical care, will that continue?
Also, the Bermudians who can now work all over Europe. That might of course change with Brexit.
Extremely favourable rates for universities when compared with the US and Canada. There is also the matter of the Court of Appeal and the ability to appeal to the Privy Council, both highly respected bodies that are staffed by leading experts who cannot be replaced.
All our citizens and international companies rely on these backstops. Are we willing to give all this up for a flag?
We must not let sentimentality get in the way of reality. It needs some very serious thinking,
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