[Updated with video] The Overseas Territories’ leaders need to “demonstrate some courage and decline Cameron’s invitation to London to berate them,” said Opposition MP Walton Brown.
That comment was posted by Mr Brown on the social network Twitter this morning [June 7], and was prefaced with, “The UK government has crossed the line on this contrived ‘tax evasion’ push. All Overseas Territories must resist in unison.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has asked senior ministers of ten overseas territories and crown dependencies – including Bermuda – to London on the eve of this month’s G8 summit meeting to sign an international agreement to share tax information.
The Overseas Territories’ leaders need to demonstrate some courage and decline Cameron’s invitation to London to berate them…
— Walton Brown (@waltonbda) June 7, 2013
Mr Cameron said tax avoidance by multinational corporations will feature prominently at the G8 summit, which comprises of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA.
This meeting follows after a letter written last month by Mr Cameron to the Overseas Territories asking them to “get their house in order” when it came to international tax codes.
Premier Craig Cannonier said he has accepted the invitation to the meeting, saying it provides Bermuda with another opportunity to articulate on a world stage that “we are a low tax jurisdiction, not a tax haven.” The Premier also said that he will have a private meeting with Mr Cameron while in the U.K.
The UK government has crossed the line on this contrived “tax evasion” push. All Overseas Territories must resist in unison.
— Walton Brown (@waltonbda) June 5, 2013
In addition to Bermuda, the other British Overseas Territories are Anguilla, the British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena, Turks and Caicos, Pitcairn Island, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus.
Update 2.12pm: Speaking today at the House of Assembly, Mr Brown said the UK has responsibility for our external affairs, defense and security and not our financial services arena.
“The proposed approach to go to London, to be berated to be chastised is highly inappropriate,” said Mr Brown. “This is grandstanding on the part of the UK Prime Minister, and we should not be participating in it.”