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Premier denies ruling out deal before G8

Premier Craig Cannonier has taken a swipe at an international news organisation for putting out headlines that he claims ”completely misrepresented Bermuda’s position” on negotiations with London over a new tax treaty for Overseas Territories.

The Premier is in the UK with other OT leaders this week at the request of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who wants the territories to sign a Multilateral Convention Agreement ahead of a G8 summit of the world’s richest nations this weekend.

A story issued by Reuters news agency yesterday morning was headlined: “Bermuda Premier says UK territories won’t sign tax deal before G8.”

And a second headline — “Bermuda says won’t agree UK Territories tax deal before G8” — prompted further outrage from Mr Cannonier.

In a statement issued by the Cabinet Office last night, a spokeswoman for the Premier said: “Premier Craig Cannonier flatly denies stating that the British Overseas Territories would not sign the Multilateral Convention Agreement prior to the upcoming G8 Meeting in Northern Ireland next week.”

The statement quoted the Premier as saying: “After having talks with my counterparts in the Overseas Territories last week regarding the upcoming meeting in London, members are ready to agree that increased sharing of information with international tax authorities is the way forward, but there are varying degrees of concern relating to the convention. However, none were categorically opposed to it.

“Bermuda is in active discussions with the UK Government over Bermuda’s concerns with some of the provisions in the proposed Multilateral Convention Agreement and that it is wrong to rule out the possibility of agreement before the G8 as implied by the headlines.

“We support the Multilateral Convention Agreement in principle, but have several concerns relating to costs, security of data and treaty duplication. These concerns need to be addressed before Bermuda signs up. I will be meeting this weekend with British Prime Minister David Cameron and it is my hope that Bermuda’s concerns will be settled as quickly as possible.”

Read more in Business, Page 21

Premier Craig Cannonier

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Published June 13, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm)

Premier denies ruling out deal before G8

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