Minister Attends Conservative Conference In UK

October 10, 2016

On behalf of the Premier, Minister of the Environment Cole Simons attended the Conservative Party Conference held from 2-5 October in Birmingham, England, and hosted a breakfast roundtable discussion with Members of Parliament and Conservative think tanks.

The Minister’s attendance was facilitated by the Government of Bermuda London Office.

Minister Simons said, “The matter of Brexit was a focal point of PM Theresa May’s speech to those assembled. It became very clear through the Prime Minister’s speech that it is the UK Government’s intention to start negotiations before 31 March 2017.

“These negotiations would be rooted in decisions that are made in the best interest of Britain. In addition, the British Government saw this as an opportunity to form new trade links and new partners,” Minister Simons said.

Cole Simons Bermuda TC October 10 2016 2

The Government said that UK Prime Minister touched upon five aspects of Brexit:

  • Timing for triggering Article 50 [by the end of 31 March 2017].
  • The process leading up to the triggering, i.e. ‘the decision of the people through the Referendum was to trigger Article 50. It is not up to the House of Commons to invoke Article 50, and it is not up to the House of Lords but the Government to trigger Article 50.’
  •  The UK Government intends to repeal the European Communities Act which decouples EU legislation from British legislation. After Royal Assent, the UK Parliament will be free to legislate, subject to international agreements and treaties.
  • The Prime Minister said, ‘We will decide for ourselves how we control immigration’ and will not be influenced by the EU which have been influenced by the movement of labour within the EU market.
  • The vote was to form an ambitious and optimistic new role in the world, a truly Global Britain.

“Our interpretation of a truly Global Britain is that this will include the devolved powers such as the Overseas Territories,” added Minister Simons.

“Governments of the UK Overseas Territories are working alongside the UK Government to be involved in the process of the negotiations, in accordance with our various constitutional relationships with the UK, to ensure our views are taken into account,” the Government said.

“The London Office is currently in the process of consulting with the UK Government through the Foreign Office and the Department for Exiting the European Union to ensure the interests of Bermuda are carried through the UK negotiation process of BREXIT. These items may include immigration, access to education and the financial services industry.

“On behalf of the Premier, the Minister hosted a breakfast roundtable discussion with influential Members of Parliament and Conservative think tanks. The roundtable was co-hosted between the Minister and the Hon. Bernard Jenkins, MP, the Chair of the UK Select Committee on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs.

“Discussions were focused around corporate governance and a debate on transformational and transactional leadership. There was an interest in what Bermuda was doing in regards to Parliamentary reform to develop an independent Parliamentary Commission.

“There was also a wide opinion on the UK Government’s intended negotiations after Article 50 is evoked under the Lisbon Treaty [by 31 March 2017], and the impact not only in homeland UK but the devolved powers to include the Overseas Territories.

“There was also participation from Head of Taxation at the Institute of Directors. Minister Simons provided some examples of Bermuda’s current robust tax policy and structure and brought clarity to some of the inner workings of Bermuda’s financial services system in order to reduce some of the misconceptions of Bermuda being described as a tax haven.

“Bermuda’s compliance record was discussed, including how many financial and professional institutions had complied with the extensive oversight and participation with the robust regime of Know Your Customer [arising from the Anti- Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing regulations] procedures. Solvency II initiatives and the opportunities to businesses as a result of its ratification were also a topic of conversation.

“While in Birmingham, Minister Simons also met with a variety of leading UK Government environment officials who were attending the conference.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Forgot about this Surrogate.

  2. GP# ? says:

    Sits back gets the same fat check while all his other colleagues have difficult Ministries dealing with the public.