MP Questions UK Citizens Being Elected In OTs

March 7, 2019 | 19 Comments

A British MP questioned a British Government Minister on the UK Government’s policy on UK nationals running for office in the Overseas Territories, and in response the Minister said that OT governments set their own rules, and noted the recent UK FAC report which suggested all UK citizens be allowed to hold elected office in the OTs saying “we will be considering this” and “responding to the FAC in due course.”

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During yesterday’s session of UK Parliament, Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, “what the Government’s policy is on UK nationals running for office in the Overseas Territories.”

In response, the Minister of State Alan Duncan said, “Local governments of Overseas Territories [OTs] set their own rules on who can vote or can hold office in the OTs.

“In their report entitled ‘Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the relationship”, the Foreign Affairs Committee [FAC] recommended that we initiate a consultation with the elected governments of the OTs to agree a plan to ensure that there is a pathway for all resident UK and British Overseas Territory citizens to be able to vote and hold elected office in territory. We will be considering this and its other recommendations and responding to the FAC in due course.”

The British Parliament FAC suggested that all UK citizens who reside in OTs should be allowed to vote and hold elected office, saying “we do not accept that there is any justification to deny legally-resident British Overseas Territory and UK citizens the right to vote and to hold elected office” and the UK Government should “set a deadline for phasing out discriminatory elements of belongership.”

The UK Government has two months to determine how or it if it will proceed with the Foreign Affairs Committee’s recommendations, which have received bipartisan pushback in Bermuda, with both Premier David Burt and Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier stating they do not agree with the concept of allowing voting rights for non-Bermudians.

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Comments (19)

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  1. Kathy says:

    “We do not accept that there is any justification to deny legally-resident British Overseas Territory and UK citizens the right to vote and to hold elected office”

    Don’t they think citizenship should be a prerequisite to hold office in any country?

    • sandgrownan says:

      Thing is, there’s no such thing as Bermudian Citizenship.

  2. Red rose says:

    Can bermudians who move to the uk vote? I would interested to know

    • Holden says:

      Yes. Yes, Bermudians have right to full British Citizenship and naturalisation and thus can vote and hold office in the UK.

    • Scott says:

      Yes.

    • Bill Andrews says:

      Bermudians who move to the UK do so by obtaining a UK British Citizen passport, so they can vote.

      • Retro says:

        That hasn’t always been the case. Britain granted that right in 2002 I believe after the OTs agreed to abolish capital punishment ( death penalty) . It would seem they are changing the goal posts. If Britain wants to take back their passports they should be able to do it without making us seem like the bad guys.

        • question says:

          So the fact is that since 2002 we have had the right to vote and seek elected office if living in the UK.

          • Retro says:

            Yes ,that is what Britain agreed to at the time . I’m not too sure what your point is ? My point is the UK needs to be more straightforward with what they want rather then manufacture a relationship abuse on our part. For the record I am and have always been pro a pathway to citizenship for all nationalities. I just resent the imposing nature of those recommendations.

            • question says:

              My point is: 1. Britain is not ‘trying to take back our passports’, and 2. You seem to be suggesting there is some kind of attempted quid pro quo. There isn’t. We have had British passports for nearly 20 years. This is unconnected.
              If Britain has misunderstood something about how we do things, then it’s up to our leaders to establish effective lines of communication with London. But Burt decided not to attend the BOT meeting when he was in London, for some reason. Perhaps that arrogance (or was it just pure laziness?) has come back to bite him.
              When Bob Richards was there, communication with London seemed to be more positive, and these constant crises didn’t happen.

              • Retro says:

                I’m not suggesting a quid pro quo at all or that Britain is threatening to take back our passports but I do think Bermudians would prefer to lose their British passports over losing their autonomy .As far as Burt missing the meeting goes of course he should of attended it but that doesn’t mean the committee didn’t realize how inflammatory those recommendations would be. Cayman are equally upset about this. Did they also miss the meeting ? Bob Richards had similar frustrations with the UK especially with regard to Benefical ownership registry. This isn’t a new story.Just a different approach from the UK.

                • Question says:

                  No, the beneficial ownership situation was under control until the PLP took over. Now it is messy, and to make matters worse Burt feels it beneath him to do his job and communicate effectively with London.
                  No one is suggesting Bermuda should lose its automony. The suggestion is about voting rights for BOT citizens who live in BOT territories, Of course, in Bermuda it gets distorted into a suggestion that ‘Britain wants control’ for racial purposes (as though the UK is universally white, which it is not). It’s pathetic.

    • question says:

      Yes. They can vote and they can seek elected office.

  3. Well well says:

    Nice way to get the baby to stop nursing. Push him out of the bed. Time to have a plan to stand on our own feet. But I think we are waiting for the Brexit disaster to destroy the UK who will have their hands full as they stand alone in their own self inflicted mess. What a world we live in. But as for me and my house we will pay all Bill’s to avoid losing our house. Remember that Bermuda. Our own well being.

    • Scott says:

      …but let it not be forgotten that the “brexit disaster” came from the mentality that it is better to do things on your own….

      They pushed to separate and only then did they realise how crappy a situation it would be. UK had an over inflated ego and a misplaced reality… they thought that Europe needs them more than they need Europe… if that was the case it wouldn’t be the UK pandering for deals…

      Bermuda should not make the same mistake.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      British voted to commit economic suicide. Why do you want Bermuda to do the same? Just to be like the British?

  4. Rocky5 says:

    Quo fata ferunt

  5. According to the memo , the U.K . will not be leaving the E.U. I will tell you about that later .As it relates to us living in Bermuda , the U.K. will impose upon us the necessity to allow U.K. citizens/residents living in Bermuda the right to vote and hold office .What compromise will the government reach ? Pathways to Status / Comprehensive immigration by any other name are essentially the same thing . The PLP needs the do their business or get out of the bathroom . There is no other way to say it . Can the country wait until July 2020 until the PLP reveals their plan ? In two months , at lease we will know the U.K’s plan . Just waiting ………..

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