Walton Brown In Guardian: “We’re No Tax Haven”

June 27, 2013

Guardian1Pembroke Central Member of Parliament Walton Brown says British Prime Minister David Cameron “extended the reach of the UK beyond its constitutional powers” by asking Bermuda to attend this month’s pre-G8 London meeting on international tax avoidance.

In a column published on the UK’s “Guardian” website today [June 27], Mr. Brown said under the island’s constitutional arrangements “Bermuda retains power over economic and fiscal matters, not the UK”, arguing that the Prime Minister’s efforts to get Bermuda to sign a tax avoidance treaty with the UK at the hastily convened June 15 meeting did not “bode well for the future.”

“If Britain continues down the path of meddling in the economic affairs of overseas territories and seeming to dictate a course of action, particularly while the territories are already working to meet international obligations, there will be a battle akin to that of David and Goliath,” wrote the Progressive Labour Party Parliamentarian. “But for the David that is Bermuda the recourse may simply be the path to autonomy.”

Bermuda and other British Overseas Territories — the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Montserrat and Anguilla — were asked to attend the London talks by the Prime Minister who said he was seeking more transparency to end what he called the “scourge of tax evasion”.

Representatives from the UK Crown Dependencies Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man also attended the London meeting, held in the run-up to the Group of Eight [G8] summit of leading industrialised nations hosted by Britain in Northern Ireland.

Following the meeting there were conflicting reports, with UK Prime Minister David Cameron saying the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies signed up to the multilateral convention, while Premier Craig Cannonier said that Bermuda “has not signed any agreement at all” and neither had the other Overseas Territories.

After the London meeting was announced in early June, Mr. Brown said: “The proposed approach to go to London, to be berated to be chastised is highly inappropriate…This is grandstanding on the part of the UK Prime Minister, and we should not be participating in it.”

You can read Mr Brown’s full column, which has attracted over 70 comments so far, here on the Guardian’s website.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Bermuda Boy says:

    Why won't this guy just go away

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  2. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Nothing like "grandstanding", right Mr. Brown?

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  3. campervan says:

    Careful with the opinion pieces in the UK press there Walton,

    The Brits might get wind that Bermuda doesn't need an income tax because they send their social welfare cases and uni grads over to the UK for the Brits to pick up the tab.
    Bermuda is getting its cake and eating it right now so I'd keep quiet if I were you:)

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  4. Bermyman says:

    He is not a spokesperson for Bermuda nor does he carry any economic policy creedence. Why is he sabre rattling and projecting a the false opinion of this Island to the rest of the world. He is a local M.P. not a cabinet minister, he has no influence on policy, yet he speaks to the international media as if he runs the whole damn Island.

    Something tells me he is desperate to be heard; WANNABE WALTON! has a nice ring to it!

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    • Bermyman, I thank you for allowing the world to acknowledge this Walton Brown character is just that, "a real character" having to ties to the Govt. of Bermuda, the One Bermuda alliance.

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  5. jt says:

    I trust The Guardian was responsible enough to make it clear that Walton Brown is not an official representative of Bermuda and that these are merely his personal opinions.

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    • J Starling says:

      If you go to the article you will see that it is in the 'Comment is Free' section, which is by definition an opinion section - as such all pieces there are personal opinions, not official statements.

      The Guardian also clearly states (if you click on his name) his background as a short bio, noting his academic background, authorship and role as an MP for the PLP.

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      • jt says:

        Unfortunately, to the foreigners that read this it will come of as a Bemruda position. While it is qualified as you indicate II suspect Mr. Brown knows exactly what he is doing. At the present time this does not serve Bermuda well.

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      • Hey says:

        If he has put up credentials in a BIO attributable to him then his comments are attributable to those credentials and therefore in scope.

        Fire him PLP

        Me thinks he is stirring the pot to try and force UK government to take action which would result in us having our ties cut or us having to cut ties. His Agenda is Independence.

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  6. Winnie Dread says:

    Mr Brown you are correct 1 billion percent, some people just won't get it. Cameron in his desperation to save his political career is clutching at straws, trying to find a scapegoat for all the finincial issues going on in his country. As the finance minister Hon Bob Richards stated they (the big boys) created a mess and now want to blame the little guys. You are moe than correct some people just can't seem to seperate politics from reality, well said.

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  7. Hey says:

    I think Marc Bean should fire him from the PLP for this blatant and damaging meddling in Foreign Affairs.

    FIRE HIM NOW...betcha won't.

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  8. Sandman says:

    Although I don't often find myself in agreement with Walton Brown's articles, this was a timely article for him to get published. There are very few people advocating for Bermuda in the UK and there is so much nonsense spouted.

    Walton did a good job of rebutting some of this nonsense, and warning of the consequences of continued UK meddling. I am not a supporter of independence, but if the UK were to tear up the Bermuda constitution (which is what the loony left in the UK is demanding, bizarrely as they are normally anti-colonialism) then independence would be the only response.

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  9. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    Cameron and his crooked party need to quit before they get kicked out at the next UK Elections.

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    • campervan says:

      So you think that a UK labour/socialist government would be more accommodating and less of a threat to Bermudas low tax business model? I wouldn't be too sure about that skippy.

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