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UK, EU trips by Premier and former finance minister cost almost $40,000, records show

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David Burt, the Premier (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A visit by David Burt, the Premier, to Britain and Brussels in November cost taxpayers more than $13,000, it has been revealed.

Mr Burt attended a summit of Overseas Territories and British ministers in London, before heading to the EU capital in Belgium.

According to the Government Travel Calendar, accommodation took up the largest part of the costs for the trip lasting from November 14 to November 22, 2021, coming in at $5,655.

The bill for air travel for the visit was $4,761, and ground transportation was $2,738.

This broke down as train tickets coming in at $1,040 and car services at $1,697.

Voters were billed $91 for meals, bringing the total for the visit to $13,247.

The finance minister at the time, Curtis Dickinson, also travelled to the London summit and went on to meetings with EU figures in Brussels.

Accompanied by a finance department official, the costs for the trip between November 13 to November 23, 2021, amounted to $26,018.35.

This broke down as expenditure of $10,218.50 on air travel, $7,750.95 on ground transportation and $7,716.83 on accommodation.

The amount of $263.35 was claimed in meals, and $68.72 came under the heading of “miscellaneous”.

The Premier chaired a meeting in London where Overseas Territories leaders discussed the issues that would be raised with the British Government at the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC).

Information on the Travel Calendar said: “The JMC is the highest forum for political dialogue and consultation between UK and elected leaders and representatives of the Overseas Territories for the purposes of providing leadership and promoting co-operation in areas of mutual interest.

“It provides a forum for the exchange of views on political and constitutional issues between the governments of the Overseas Territories and the UK Government to promote the security and good governance of the territories and their sustainable economic and social development; and to agree priorities, develop plans and review implementation.”

Curtis Dickinson, the former Minister of Finance (File photograph)

The post added: “This trip marked the Premier’s first return to Brussels since both Brexit and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“He used this opportunity to support the Minister of Finance in bolstering Bermuda’s reputation within the European institutions and to meet with broader government and industry stakeholders.”

The Premier also met the Director of Economics and Trade at the UK Mission to the EU and “exchanged on the UK-EU and Bermuda-EU relationships post-Brexit and discussed areas where Bermuda and the UK Mission to the EU could deepen connections”.

“This included in the important areas of vaccination certificate equivalence and EU mobility, climate change and follow-up from COP26, and financial services.”

Financial services, digital markets and renewable energy sectors were also discussed during the visit.

The Premier also held two dinners for 12 Bermudian students in London and ten in Manchester.

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Published March 21, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated March 21, 2022 at 7:31 am)

UK, EU trips by Premier and former finance minister cost almost $40,000, records show

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