Premier meets King Charles III
David Burt met other leaders of Britain’s Overseas Territories at a Buckingham Palace reception on Wednesday where they were joined by King Charles III.
The Premier is attending the annual Joint Ministerial Conference in London with Rena Lalgie, the Governor.
According to the Bermuda Government’s social media page, OT leaders “discussed matters of mutual interest regarding their respective territories”.
Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, said he was “honoured to be representing Bermuda” at the gathering, adding: “We did some good work to represent Bermuda's interest to HM Government but also that of all Overseas Territories.”
Mr Roban said he had also met David Cameron, the newly appointed Britain Foreign Secretary, who served as prime minister from 2010 to 2016.
Mr Burt posted on his X social-media page: “Yesterday, Walter Roban and I attended meetings of the UK Parliament’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee.
“I highlighted critical matters on behalf of Bermuda, including concerns about the United Kingdom’s rejection of Bermuda’s cannabis legislation passed twice by Bermuda's elected representatives and the issues caused by the removal of BMU codes from OT passports.”
Bermuda’s attempts to establish a legal cannabis framework were blocked by Government House last year despite being passed by the island’s lawmakers.
Ms Lalgie announced last September that she had been told by British foreign secretary not to give Royal Assent to the Government’s Cannabis Licensing Act.
The legislation was said to clash with Britain’s obligations under international narcotics conventions — but the Premier earlier warned that withholding approval threatened the island’s relationship with Britain.
Travel headaches from the removal of the BMU passport code date back to May 2016, when the printing of Bermudian passports was taken over by Britain.
Bermudian travellers ran into problems at ports of entry to the United States other than the US pre-clearance at LF Wade International Airport, because the code GBR, for Great Britain, would appear when passport data was scanned instead of BMU, the country code for Bermuda.
Government House announced in April that the discrepancy would be fixed next year.
Mr Burt told Bermuda Broadcasting yesterday the correct coding would appear on Bermudian passports after April 2024.
Both issues were raised by Mr Burt last May in a meeting with Lord Goldsmith, Minister for the Overseas Territories, when the Premier attended King Charles’s coronation in London.