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Premier has reservations on idea of an OT MP

A suggestion that Britain’s Overseas Territories should be represented in the UK House of Commons by a single MP has been met with a tepid reaction from Premier Craig Cannonier.

Mr Cannonier said that while the idea may “sound good” he questioned how it would be implemented.

“The practical application of having a single representative from the Overseas Territories raises more questions than answers regarding the logistics of how it would actually be implemented.

“While we are a 'brotherhood' of Overseas Territories with definite commonalities that define us and enable us to agree on general issues, however, when more specific issues arise, the fundamental differences between our jurisdictions may prove to be more problematic, e.g. our judicial and economic models are quite varied. Bermuda must take its destiny into its own hands and strategically collaborate with the other OTs when necessary.”

Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independent Party, said last month that the Overseas Territories should be allowed to elect their own MP to get representation in the UK House of Commons.

Mr Cannonier continued: “The UK parliament has appointed the current UK Minister for the Overseas Territories — Minister Mr Mark Simmons, who I have met with several times. The arrangement seems to be working well right now. As the new administration, we will continue to explore ways to maximise that relationship for the benefit of Bermuda, before we explore other options.”

Asked if he was happy with arrangements to get Bermuda's views heard in the UK, the Premier said there was “always room for improvement”.

“The Bermuda Government will be intensifying our efforts to communicate our message in the UK. We are currently looking at ways to expand the role of our London office.

“The Finance Minister Bob Richards was recently in the UK speaking to various media houses about the facets of Bermuda's financial model. I anticipate that there will be many more opportunities to tell UK stakeholders about the merits of Bermuda.”

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Published June 07, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 06, 2013 at 11:20 pm)

Premier has reservations on idea of an OT MP

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