Premier And Ministers Conclude Meetings In UK

November 28, 2013

Premier Craig Cannonier said this week’s visit to the UK to participate in the annual Joint Ministerial Council [JMC] meetings was fruitful, and the Government said Minister Michael Fahy pressed for a guarantee that Bermudians would have access to emergency travel passports under the intended new system.

The Premier, along with the Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy and Minister of Finance Bob Richards travelled to London to take part in a series of discussions focused on the Overseas Territories [OTs].

The JMC meetings took place from November 25 – 28 and were chaired by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Mark Simmonds, Minister for the Overseas Territories.

The Premier and Minister Richards at this week’s JMC meetings in London:


Some of matters covered at this week’s meetings included the financial services provided by OTs, their regulatory regimes, passports and immigration and establishing greater links between the UK and the OTs on business, trade and investment.

The Government said all Territories who offered financial services were applauded in their immediate approach of action following the G-8 Summit to join the Multilateral Convention on tax matters.

This is in addition to the combined 160 Tax Information Exchange Agreements [TIEAs] the Territories have in place. Bermuda has 40 agreements in place.

Also this week, the Premier, Minister Fahy and Minister Richards facilitated separate meetings focusing on collective issues facing the OTs, the repatriation of BOTC passports to the UK and Islamic finance, respectively.

As President of the Political Council of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association [UKOTA], the Premier chaired a meeting of the OT leaders.

Premier Cannonier said the session provided an opportunity for Territory leaders to further engage on collective issues raised in Gibraltar prior to the plenary session of the JMC. The occasion afforded the group to have a greater understanding on what to achieve in the outcome of the JMC process.

Photo tweeted by UK Minister Mark Simmonds showing Minister Richards:

Meanwhile, Minister Fahy lead a discussion on the section of Passports and Immigration, in which discussions were held regarding the repatriation of BOTC passports to the UK, immigration policies, visas and asylum.

The Government said the Minister “pressed for a guarantee that Bermudians would have access to emergency travel passports under the intended new system and sought an agreement in respect of delivery times of regular passports.”

Visa issues were also discussed at the forum in addition to human rights in respect of residents of Overseas Territories.

And the Premier and Minister Richards held bilateral discussions with Minister Simmonds and the Senior Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Baroness Warsi regarding Bermuda’s position on Islamic finance and the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC].

Baroness Warsi was encouraged to hear first-hand from the Premier about Bermuda’s positive efforts of engagement at the recently held World Islamic Economic Forum in October.

Summing up the UK visit, Premier Cannonier said, “Discussions at the JMC proved to be very fruitful. We covered an array of matters concerning all Overseas Territories, such as economic diversification, jobs and economic growth.

“It was an opportunity to continue the working relationship with our Ministerial counterparts in the UK Government and the OT Governments. We look forward to maintaining this level of engagement and working on the action points in the Final Communique,” concluded the Premier.

The Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council Communiqué is below [PDF here]:

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Comments (20)

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  1. Common Sense says:

    I happened to turn on BBC Radio this afternoon and heard someone being interviewed, or should I say interrogated by a rather aggressive interviewer about Bermuda being a tax haven. I didn’t quite catch the voice at first or the name of the person being interviewed, but I was impressed by the forceful and direct way he was answering the questions put to him.

    I was just thinking that Bermuda has someone who is speaking clearly and forcefully on our behalf when I suddenly realized that it sounded like our Premier Craig Cannonier. Quite frankly, I was stunned. After hearing so much from the PLP bloggers about what a poor speaker he is, and how he only ever sings the tune of those in “real power”, this was a real revelation.

    Today, on BBC radio, being broadcast to the world, Craing Cannonier proved why he was chosen as the Premier of Bermuda. Never again will I believe all the mindless, petty rhetoric about him not being the real leader of the OBA Government. Craig Cannonier was a credit to Bermuda plain and simple.

    • Chaos Theory says:

      I agree. I was very happy to hear him being forceful in defence of Bermuda. Mind you, the guy from “War on Want” was a right a$$.

      Look in your own backyard before slamming us.

    • Lets keep it real says:

      Stop drinking that red kool aid ace boy. Lets keep it real why Craig was placed as leader.

      Craig was chosen as the leader because the real UBP/oba was afraid to place a white man as leader. The top brass in the ubp/oba (whites boys) know they would have lost the election.

      It has always been that way and maybe the next election peoples mind sets will change. For now stop BSING the voters or take the chance and place a white man as leader. Hey and I’m not saying it’s right but they all know why he’s just a sock puppet for the real people in charge.

      If the OBA decide to place a white man as leader and win I like many will STFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Lets keep it real says:

        Until then you all can kiss my azzzz.

        • Tolerate says:

          Hahaha….. and you got 4 “Like” for that ramble. Firstly I’m not an OBA defender so before you go there…. don’t. The message was OUR (I’m only guessing your Bermudian) Premier spoke on our behalf to a half-witted @$$$hole who should be asking questions of his own Government, but is too cowardly so instead seeked out a visitor to interrogate; and was appropriately handled.
          F*** even a PLP support should be proud that he stood up for US (as in ALL Bermuda). You just don’t get it do you? Remember the Cayman Leader who spoke down to Premier Cox? ALL Bermuda was on his s***!!!! There’s a time when you have to “Unite”; however people like you are only interested in a Bermuda that exist in your twisted mind; no matter what damage is done in getting it.
          I’m figuring you’re not even a PLP follower, because fanatics like you (if indeed you are) are the ones that make it harder on your own party.
          Keep It Real????? What a joke…. And since your trolling was to incite a reaction to your “kiss my azzzz” comment; you can do just that.

      • swing voter says:

        Yur an Idiot…you and yur type called the guy a surrogate and adamantly predicted he’ll be replaced within a year….IDIOT

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        “Afraid to put a white man in as leader”

        that realy speaks to how in the PLP’s words how the voters here think about white people and they say white people are the racists?


      • Mike Hind says:

        Even if what you’re saying is true, your whole outrage is “How dare the OBA do something that wins them an election?”

        But what you’re saying is not true, so the point is moot.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        You do realize lkir that what you’re implying is that blacks are racist because they wont vote for either a political party headed by a white man or just a white person period.
        Doesn’t this go contrary to what blacks are saying all the time that it’s whites who are racist and have a problem when in fact they’ve been voting for blacks since the first 2 party election ?

    • Speckled Hind says:

      Imagine for a minute if it had been the leader of the opposition. Complete embarrassment for Bermuda.

      “Vell Umum like, you know, umum. I can chack wiff my att-wisors”.

  2. If it was a PLP Premier he/she would have said “we dont care what u think”!

  3. Rockfish#2 says:

    I watched it on BBC TV.That interviewer was nothing short of “in your face” hostile.

    Cannonier seemed stunned at first, but quickly recovered and handled him firmly, but politely.

  4. swing voter says:

    Good work Craig….now the question is, do the PLP die-hards still refer to him as a surrogate or a puppet? I say you better look inside your own ‘fortress’ of confusion

  5. Navin Johnson says:

    Imagine for a moment that it was Marc Bean being interviewed….watching and listening to him speak is an embarrassment ….he seems lost while Craig Cannonier has grown into the I role as the leader……

  6. Ruthless says:

    I would love to see Zane DeSilva get elected as Premier and then see what all you PLP people really think of “White people! ” You wouldn’t know what to say or do!!!!

    • swing voter says:

      yup didn’t DeSilva use a strange descriptive of his position as HNIC

      jeeeez that is scary

  7. Common Sense says:

    I respectfully disagree with the above negative comments about Marc Bean and Zane DeSilva, not because I think for a moment that they would have done a better job than Premier Cannonier, but because we have to stop knocking other people down in order to raise someone else up.

    I commented on the excellent performance of Craig Cannonier during his BBC interview because I had heard so much negativity about him being a puppet and not being able to speak for himself without a script – all of which emanated from the usual PLP political hacks such as “Let’s keep it real”. Premier Cannonier proved them to be so ridiculously and foolishly wrong because he spoke so clearly and forcefully during a difficult interview with a very aggressive interviewer. He presented our side of the argument as a true Premier should.

    There is no need to denigrate members of the PLP in order to boost the image of Premier Cannonier. That is as small minded as the hacks who constantly attack him. I reserve the right to disagree with some things the Premier might say and some things the OBA might do, but on this occasion Craig Cannonier gets an “A Plus” for a masterful performance during an interview heard around the globe.

  8. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Get over it ! and move on to a brighter future.