House: Premier to attend JMC next week
The Premier will be attending the annual Joint Ministerial Council in Britain next week.
Tax and transparency, hurricane disaster relief and overseas territories' right to self-determination are on the agenda, David Burt told Parliament today.
He said: “The JMC is the highest forum for political dialogue and consultation between United Kingdom and elected leaders and representatives of the British Overseas Territories for the purposes of providing leadership and promoting co-operation in areas of mutual interest.
“The priorities this year will highlight issues such as upholding our right to self-determination as enshrined under Article 37 of the United Nations Charter and that this continues to apply to the people of the overseas territories, as the UK's international obligation.
“Other issues to be discussed will include working in partnership with all governments to support the disaster recovery of those territories sadly impacted by recent hurricanes.”
Mr Burt applauded the UK's pledge of an additional $15 million to support recovery efforts in affected territories.
But he added: “As territories we will be further encouraging the UK government to provide all support to these territories where it is reasonable.
Mr Burt said leaders from the Caribbean and Bermuda acknowledged that lessons were to be learnt from hurricanes Irma and Maria.
He added: “We look forward to outlining a plan for regional disaster management co-operation and seeking assistance from the UK in the areas of: recovery, reconstruction and redevelopment, resilience building, and preparedness and migration.”
Matters of tax and transparency, “which continues to be a shared priority for us all”, will also be discussed, Mr Burt said.
“We will update the UK Government on the measures taken by this Government to uphold our commitment in implementing the arrangements under the Exchange of Notes to allow law enforcement to exchange beneficial ownership information.
“The UK Government continues to uphold the UK Anti-Corruption strategy as a priority under the Cabinet Office and this Government will continue to ensure that we meet our obligations under the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.”
He will be accompanied to the JMC by Kimberley Durrant, UK representative within the Government of Bermuda London Office.
Mr Burt said he would also be attending various Parliamentary meetings and events, including a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May.
He will host a networking receptions for Bermudians living in the UK on Monday and open the Bermuda Forum organised by the Bermuda Business Development Agency on Tuesday.
Mr Burt said he would also travel to Berlin and Paris to meet with officials who are responsible for tax matters in these countries.
“During those meeting I will reiterate that Bermuda is a leader globally tax transparency and that we are fully compliant with our international obligations.”
• To read Mr Burt's full statement, see the PDF under “Related Media”.