Overseas Territories’ Minister to visit ahead of UK White Paper
Overseas Territories Minister Henry Bellingham is to visit Bermuda ahead of Britain publishing its White Paper.
The Conservative MP will make his first visit to the Island next week in what he calls “a very important time for Bermuda, and overseas territories as a whole”.
Mr Bellingham has a busy schedule planned as he will meet Premier Paula Cox and Cabinet, Opposition politicians and other officials.
He will see how the Bermuda Police Service and the Bermuda Regiment work together on maritime patrol operations and meet some of Bermuda’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games aspirants.
The Minister will also take the opportunity to learn more about both the international business sector and the tourism industry in Bermuda.
Mr Bellingham will also give a keynote speech on the UK Government’s strategy towards the Overseas Territories. He will also speak about Bermuda’s successes and challenges and its role as the oldest and most populous of the Overseas Territories.
The visit coincides with the launch of a consultation process with all the Overseas Territories in preparation for the publication of a White Paper on the Territories in 2012.
Mr Bellingham said: “I am looking forward to my visit to Bermuda next week. As my first visit to the territory and the first trip by a British Minister since 2008, this will be an important opportunity to re-emphasise the strength of the UK’s relationship with the largest and most successful overseas territory.
“My visit comes at an important time for Bermuda, and the overseas territories as a whole, with the launch of the consultation on the strategy for the Overseas Territories. I believe that the Premier and the people of Bermuda can play a leading role in developing the strategy and I look forward to discussing how we can shape Britain’s future relationship with the Overseas Territories.”
The Royal Gazette first reported on Mr Bellingham’s pending visit earlier this month. He previously met Ms Cox when she visited the UK with predecessor Ewart Brown and welcomed her strong emphasis on financial discipline and greater transparency.
Mr Bellingham, who has previously served as a barrister, was elected to Parliament in 1983 and was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in May last year.