OBA & PLP On Independence Talk Claims

September 26, 2020

The OBA Leader has alleged that the Premier asked him for the “Opposition’s support in bringing Bermuda to Independence,” while the PLP has alleged that Mr Cannonier is “lying,” and pointed out that “Bermuda cannot go to independence without Bermudians voting in favour in a referendum.”

These statements were made in the run up to the 2020 General Election, which is set to take place this coming Thursday.

OBA Statement

In a statement sent out and also delivered in what appeared to be a video ad, Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier said, “During the island-wide shut down due to Covid19, I met regularly with David Burt, to collaborate and give advice on behalf of the Official Opposition. Those meetings were at times tense, but in the interest of unity and Bermuda’s very future it was the right thing to do.

“Sadly, Premier Burt used those meetings to merely advance his own agenda. This culminated in him trying to blame the One Bermuda Alliance for the calling of the upcoming General Election on baseless grounds of saving costs due to a number of anticipated retirements of MP’s from the OBA and the Burt Administration.

“During at least two of those meetings, Mr Burt raised the issue that all of my fellow Bermudians need to know about. That is the issue of independence.

Mr Cannonier alleged that “Mr Burt asked me whether I would give him the Opposition’s support in bringing Bermuda to Independence. I was shocked at this overture, especially during a time of national crisis.

“Frankly independence, like this completely unnecessary election, should have been the last thing on Mr Burt’s mind.”

“He advised that he would remove his opposition to the granting of status to long-term residents, since he said that after independence it did not matter,” the OBA Leader alleged.

“Mr Burt asked for my assistance in this endeavour by speaking directly with International Business groups to essentially sell this idea. I told Mr Burt that Bermudians need to come together before any such matter is ever considered.

“I share this with you tonight because I believe the people of Bermuda have the right to know of his intent. My party has said for some time that the Burt Administration is ultimately seeking a mandate for Independence. That is what this election is ultimately about. It is about David Burt and a barely hidden agenda for independence.

“His own supporters have, over the last few years, consistently and systematically made comments and shown the Burt Administration’s true intent. Mr Burt himself has made a number of public statements in full support of independence so in hindsight his approach to me should not have been a surprise.

“Bermuda. I make this solemn promise to you. Should you put your faith in an OBA Administration I will not move Bermuda towards independence and I will not do anything without a referendum requested by the people and a result clearly showing the will of the people. Such a referendum would be separate and distinct from a General Election. Independence is not what Bermuda needs. Bermuda needs a strong economy, jobs for Bermudians, a vibrant education system, a healthcare system that works and public services that serve all Bermudians.

“I make this point again Bermuda. David Burt is misleading you about his plans for Bermuda.

“I have raised this matter of Mr Burt’s overtures on independence now, since in good conscience I cannot sit by and watch Bermuda be taken down a road to independence by stealth and without your consent. On October 1st I urge you to say no to Mr Burt and no to his plans for independence.”

PLP Response

In response, a PLP spokesperson said, “Craig Cannonier and the OBA are desperate and they are making up stories yet again.

“The Premier has been clear, over and over again, that Bermuda cannot go to independence without Bermudians voting in favour in a referendum. The United Kingdom has also been crystal clear that Bermuda cannot become independent unless Bermudians vote for independence in a referendum.

“The only person in Bermuda who thinks Bermuda can go to independence without a referendum is Craig Cannonier, a disgraced politician who resigned for being less than truthful to the people of Bermuda.

“This is just another desperate attempt from a desperate party who will do anything and say anything for power. Just like their forefathers in the UBP who scaremongered about independence for decades, the OBA is taking up their mantle. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

The PLP alleged, “Let us be crystal clear: Craig Cannonier is lying – the Premier didn’t ask him to support Bermuda going independent because politicians cannot make that decision, only the people can in a referendum.”

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Comments (21)

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  1. newperspectiva. says:

    Neither party would get my support on going independent! In fact,I would do whatever I could to start a movement to stop what these fools are allegedly considering. One party wants a Gucci bag business model and the other a walmart model. In this global economy, neither model has worked well for the people of Bermuda, only special interest.

  2. red rose says:

    more people buy walmart that gucci

    • Now Ya Nice says:

      Going Independent is not free. Its not as simple as sending a letter to tbe Governor and saying we want to go at it alone. It comes with a literal price. And where does the PLP gbink we will get tbe money? Borrow more.?

      EVERYONE thinking about independence should watch the documemtary LIFE and DEBT. Its ghe sorry of Jamaica and its stoey as it sought independance.They went fromnpowerhouse to poverty

  3. Adrian says:

    Let’s put this into context! The UN declared years ago that territories should be independent, free of colonialism! Are islands to the south have not feared well once gaining independence, but now Barbados is getting rid of the queen! So maybe we are mature enough to educate the public and decide it by election!

  4. Ringmaster says:

    Facts put paid to the PLP response as a bare faced lie. The UBP put a referendum to the people in 1995 that the PLP boycotted and the people voted against.
    Craig Cannonier resigned as a matter of principle, unlike Dr Brown (uighur human trafficking) and now Premier Burt (proven incompetence with tax payer money).
    Why ask the Opposition leader to approach IB if Premier Burt is such a strong leader? Clearly he knows IB does not trust him.
    Like Watergate, listen to the tapes.

    • Question says:

      Well said.

    • Hmmmmm says:

      Craig obaubperrr resigned because 350K was given to him by a hoteler for the OBA, but they never received it. are the voters ok since it was not tax payer money.

  5. Vortex says:

    Lots in Independence, but it boils down to a few things.

    Do you want to have to get a visa every time you visit the USA?
    If yes, then support Independence.

    Why do you think we did such a good job with Covid?
    Because the UK sourced cheaply all the equipment. All of it.

    And we are kind of Independent anyway, it won’t change anything and we all support Liverpool, United, Arsenal etc anyway. Oh and you’ll need a visa to go to the UK too.

  6. Boston Whaler Owner says:

    Bermuda will NEVER go Independent!

    Keep drinking the Kool Aid,it’s making Family and Friends RICH!

    • newperspective says:

      I agree! Stakes are too high. And, remember, the UK will have the last say. There will need to be a meaningful majority before they even consider such, or negotiate such a move.

  7. Question says:

    If we’re independent we can forget getting access to vaccine for the next couple of years.

  8. Sandals says:

    Even Burt, deep down, knows Independence is a stupid idea.

  9. Jevon Ray says:

    Going independent would be no different than how WE already run the country. Our constitution was set up for the inevitably of us going independent. What makes people think that we would need a Visa in the first place? This would all boil down to our negotiations with the USA and Canada. We need to finally get off our mother’s tit.

    • newperspective says:

      When the UBP put Independence on the table, the PLP chose to not to support independence and told their supporters to vote against the referendum.

      Back then we, even when our economy was showing signs of decline, I was open to the idea of considering independence. But the UBP could not convince me that it would be beneficial for Bermudians.

      We are worse-off today economically, declining population, increasing national debt. Still no resources we can rely on, and no real leadership to map out our future. Bermuda’s uncertain future will not be solved by “getting off our mother’s ???”.

      The PLP had their chance 25 years ago and they botched an opportunity. They also revisited the issue back in 2006? Even then the majority of Bermudians were against independence, and I suspect they still do.

      Get on with real issues, like saving jobs for Bermudians, real efforts to reducing the national debt!!

      Cannonier/Burt, stop the American way of politics…. lie, cheat, and deflect.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        *When the UBP put Independence on the table, the PLP chose to not to support independence and told their supporters to vote against the referendum.*

        Back then , something a lot of people don’t know , is that the UBP had produced a comprehensive report that contained every possible question regarding independence . There was an answer for all those questions with checks and balances for each one .
        When the PLP read the report they didn’t like the look of independence the UBP way and threw it in the trash.
        Surely there must still be a copy of that report somewhere that someone could dig out and present to us again so we could all have a look at what it was that the PLP didn’t like.

      • Unbelievable says:

        “Leadership to map out our future”? How about any “relationship map”? The whole POINT of going independent is to stand on our own two feet, right? Well that’s all well and good but we have ZERO relationships, at the minimum superficially, with any other country. You mean to tell me that Bermuda will get what it wants up against any other larger country? Who’s going to negotiate for us? Where are our great statesmen or stateswomen? Not a chance in hell that Bermuda will even succeed ESPECIALLY when we have zero check and balances. We can’t even find the guy who stole the 800k by ourselves!

        Independence? Oh please.

  10. Rhonda says:

    I don’t have an issue with talks..

    If Bermuda is to go independent..it would certainly help if it’s amicable…

    Non the less a referendum will decide..

    This is OBA’s desperate attempts at scaring the ill informed… for his own political gains..

  11. Unbelievable says:

    I wouldn’t trust ANY political party to take Bermuda to independence….certainly not the PLP anyway with their 3 billion dollar debt. The way the Bermuda Government is set up is not appropriate to going independent anyway. We don’t have any check and balances nor any safe guards if things go sideways. Even now, we have very little oversight on how things are done in Govt.
    You want to go independent with 3 billion in debt and no chance in hell of balancing that debt? Uh no thanks.

  12. Bermudian says:

    You know I keep reading and hearing negative comments about ‘elite’ members of society. This island is going to NEED the elite’s money in Bermuda if this place ever goes independant. Once the ‘elite’ and their money pull out of here, we’re doomed. Only fools believe we will prosper as independant. Do your research about all the other places that went independant and see how they’re doing. So many hate the English rule but are quick to scatter over there. Voting for independance is voting for a bleak and poor future for your children.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      If I understand your meaning of “elite” properly, you can be assured that they are already diversified and that most of their money is not invested in Bermuda.

      It is not so much the whether the elite “and their money pull out of here” as whether the “elite” and their tax dollars (on current income) pull out of here.