Audio: Premier On UK, Assent, Cannabis Bill

February 20, 2021 | 29 Comments

“If Her Majesty’s representative in Bermuda does not give assent to something that has been passed lawfully and legally under this local government, this will destroy the relationship that we had with the United Kingdom,” Premier David Burt said, adding that he expects “the UK government will listen to the democratic voice of the people of this country.”

The Premier was speaking at the end of the debate in the House on the Cannabis Licensing Act, which lasted more than 8 hours, with the bill now set to head to the Senate after passing in the House.

Premier Burt said, “The Attorney General in her brief stated, and I quote, ‘To be clear, the Governor has indicated that she will be unable to assent to any legislation that contravenes our international obligations.’

“This legislation will pass this House this evening. This legislation will go to the other place, and if this legislation passes the other place, it will go to Her Majesty’s representative in Bermuda.

“If Her Majesty’s representative in Bermuda does not give assent to something that has been passed lawfully and legally under this local government, this will destroy the relationship that we had with the United Kingdom.

“And I say that because it cannot be, it cannot be that locally elected governments lay out their election manifestos, go to the polls, have broad public support, polling support, majority of the populace supporting the direction of the country, and it be for someone who represents people 3000 miles away to tell the country ‘No, you cannot.’

Short extract of Premier Burt’s comments:

“If our regime is modeled after Canada, another country where Her Majesty serves as the head of state, and they can be in noncompliance with an antiquated international policy, I ask Mr. Speaker, why can the same not apply to Her Majesty’s oldest colony of Bermuda?

“I ask the question why? What is the difference? And I want to quote from the Attorney General’s brief one more time, Mr. Speaker. In which she said, and I quote, ‘The government of Bermuda is pursuing all diplomatic and legal options to deliver on its promise to our people, fully cognizant of the United Kingdom’s role to ensure compliance with international narcotics conventions, extended to Bermuda.

“However, Bermuda as a small overseas territory of the United Kingdom, democratically desires for social, cultural, and public health reasons, to chart its own distinct course in the difficult area of cannabis reform while adhering to international law to the greatest extent possible.’

“I go on to say, ‘As Bermuda is a non-state party to the narcotics conventions, the conventions are extended to us by the United Kingdom government. International law requires that territorial application of treaty obligations of signatory state parties require the consent of the territory governments.

“If we pass this today, which we will Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that this government and this country democratically is asking for that consent and telling the United Kingdom the direction of which we wish to travel.”

8 hour replay of the first part [2pm - 10pm] of the debate on the Cannabis Licence bill

The Premier noted that they “fashioned legislation to ensure that we do not have broad legalization, as that would be outside of the boundaries of what will be acceptable,” but  “crafted a regulated regime” so “that we can move forward such as other countries in her Majesty’s Commonwealth, such as Canada have done.”

“And after these debates, Mr. Speaker, and after the resounding success of the passage of this bill in this place, I strongly expect that the UK government will listen to the democratic voice of the people of this country.

“And I would urge, urge, those that are listening, whether they be on Government House or whether they be in White Hall to understand that this government takes democracy seriously. And if the people of this country elect us here to do a job, we are going to advance their wishes.”

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Comments (29)

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  1. Wrong says:

    Starting to sound more and more like Ewart Brown every day.

  2. Boston Whaler Owner says:

    Burt is playing with fire making threats to the UK Government.

    • Vortex says:

      His timing is ugly. When the UK gifts us tens of thousands of vaccines – and remember not just Brits and Bermudians but Irish, Portuguese, Americans, Filipinos – when the UK is on its knees and doesn’t have enough is offensive.

      You can’t have it both ways.

      The UK saves lives and Burt picks a petty fight about what exactly? Shameful.

      • trufth says:

        Agree. It’s disgusting and shameful. This guy should be embarrassed. I am embarrassed for him.

        He is an embarrassment to Bermuda.

  3. What says:

    Banks cannot just legally bank monkey from sale of cannabis in the USA, so consider the knock on effect here.

    Burt, you are simply posturing to create a fake division of us and them. The gullible will buy into your game.

    Uk has provided COVID-19 tests and Vaccine free of charge, without them, we would have many more deaths, how about you praise the relationship with the UK. You and I know that if we did not have access to UK courts system, most international business would leave for a more robust league system. This would result in abject poverty on the island.

    So please stop fake puffing out your chest to score pathetic political points and stop praying on the Bermuda Public.
    The fact you said this to the media, when it has nothing to do with anything that has or has not happened proves you are using the media to manipulate peoples thoughts. We live in the 21 century, where truth and accountability is what we want, not manipulating bs.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Banks cannot just legally bank monkey from sale of cannabis in the USA, so consider the knock on effect here.”

      Hence the fact that the Bermuda Government is starting a cryptocurrency bank. You can buy weed with Burtcoin

    • trufth says:

      Agree! This is absolutely fake posturing and a whole lotta acting! This guy is merely acting like he’s doing what his voters want. When the UK denies him, he will go to his voters and say “I tried, I tried so so very hard for my people, boo hoo, the big bad UK has done us wrong again, my people. Oh woe is me.” Cue the back of the hand to the forehead, fake faint aaaaand, scene!

      Look pal, your acting skills are lacking, you will not win an Oscar. You are over doing it and need to pull back the dramatics a bit. Fear not though, your uneducated and unintelligent voters will continue to lap it up – “we had to deceive you.” Meanwhile, the rest of us just think you are a bad actor all around and “we don’t care what you think.”

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    “If Her Majesty’s representative in Bermuda does not give assent to something that has been passed lawfully and legally under this local government, this will destroy the relationship that we had with the United Kingdom,” Premier David Burt said, adding that he expects “the UK government will listen to the democratic voice of the people of this country.”

    Dear Premier, your hatred of the British is noted, as is your threatening tone.

    • Chris J says:

      As as a proud Brit I fully agree. Does he speak for Bermuda? Do the people who voted for him feel similarly anti-British?

      We were thinking of making a holiday trip there at Easter but I’m not going somewhere where I am not welcome.

  5. A Bermudian Sort Of Outcome says:

    Burt might want to reflect that up against Limey passports, free vaccines, more or less global access, legal protections, his back room, crony profiteers staging a fake weed liberation movement will probably not hold up in an independence referendum. The irony could be that the country tells the Premier to get stuffed over independence but keeps electing PLP governments – a very Bermudian sort of outcome. Much like most Cup Matches, no winners.

  6. 2020 Won says:

    Picking fights with the UK because he did such a poor job of drafting legislation to begin with.

    But guess who’s first in line to get his FREE vaccine shot. Not even a thank you. Entitlement at its finest.

  7. Mark says:

    Haha. This american guy makes me laugh when he talks about us bermudians lol

  8. Real Deal says:

    oh boy red tape, looks like its going to get real in a bit. really spicy stuff. just wait until the world finds out the real power of Cannabis and its link to Kemet and the reintroduction of Maat into the world. thats when it will really kick off

  9. Amazed says:

    It’s hard to find such a cowering human being as our Premier Burt. His hatred of anyone who doesn’t look like him is incredulous to say the least and he continues along this path with increasing vigour at every opportunity. Sad to say folks, but he is not the man to take Bermuda forward and the electorate should think very carefully before irreparable damage is done.

    • wahoo says:

      Well said. This guy has a personal agenda that he has adopted from another that plunged us $4B into debt. It just isn’t good leadership and I have to wonder if he isn’t trying to get away from something bigger that could be on the horizon for him and others personally.

  10. Sandgrownan says:

    It’s a smokescreen. This a premier who leads a government that can’t pick the trash up on time or make the buses run. Kowtowing to the unions and the churches, he’s running off to London to discriminate. Meanwhile we slide further into debt, and face a ticking demographic timebomb. Ask yourself why schools are closing.

    Fin tech has provided little relief, we are yet to see a casino and he avoids the hard questions on immigration, choosing instead to hack around the edges. This cannabis legislation is ill conceived, poorly worded and will do nothing to stimulate economic growth by any reasonable measure.

    Playing politics with the boogey man of colonialism is all he has left. He’s devoid of ideas and leadership. He’s a weak man and an utter failure.

    Behind the smokescreen, the emperor wears no clothes.

  11. BoomBoom says:

    International obligations…let’s visit that….oh you mean we have things like…human rights?
    Last I heard …Bermuda/England has not signed any agreements with UN. Or Geneva concerning human rights.
    But…you have other obligations…****ing really? really!
    Shut …the…front…door!?!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Last I heard …Bermuda/England has not signed any agreements with UN. Or Geneva concerning human rights.”

      Are you aware of Bermuda’s Constitution or Bermuda’s Human Rights Act?

  12. At present it would seem international obligations…would technically be deemed an illicit source of revenue…where as through legitimising said source and making it safer…placing it within economic structure and taxation…all…All involved stand to gain… This is a source of revenue…want it…enjoy it…. basque in its entrepreneurial spirit …we now…more than ever need a rebound in economic structure…we really do have to go green…not just energy wise…but synergy as well…

  13. Something’s definitely fishy in Denmark…yup….here and now we can have this income…control product and safely manage it (no aditives).
    We do everything else well…why not this?
    Here…I was just thinking about all this money to be made…it strikes me as a bit odd (more than a bit)…I mean …can you imagine it? England saying no to money?
    Just no…I know I cannot….highly unlikely….with an entire majority populous already ok with taxes and regulation tuit…..mathematical incongruent to say the very least…a government…any government putting their hand up and say no to money?
    Remember that ship that used to bring bull to the island years ago?…We used to call it the bull ship….(full of bulls)
    Shadow economy is unseen money and there by of no concern to the people of a territory or nation…but to be laundered and funnelled to to whom or wherever….am I striking a chord here?…It would be better a part of this economy…hemp I mean…hey…I know…we could make rope!

  14. Comfortably numb says:

    You would think a former private school student would have a better grasp of the English language. It’s not ‘the direction of which we wish to travel’ but rather ‘the direction in which we wish to travel’. Other commentators have mentioned his frequent misuse of the phrase ‘of which’: you would think one of his entourage would point out this misuse.

  15. Ringmaster says:

    Premier Burt is so arrogant he is threatening the UK over a badly drafted Cannabis Law? How much revenue does he think will be generated? Has it ever been mentioned? Whatever it is it is tiny compared to the potential loss of revenue if he creates a toxic environment for IB. Why make hollow threats knowing he would lose a vote for Independence. Just to sound strong, but in fact he is weak.

  16. Ringmaster says:

    The PLP won the last election with 16 thousand votes, or 62%, out of 42 thousand registered voters and 60 thousand population. So at best they represent 40% of the voters and 25% of the population. The Premier needs to remember that most of Governments revenue comes from non voters, International Business, but who would have a significant silent “vote” if the political stability of Bermuda takes a downturn.

  17. Mitchell 88 says:

    Look, it’s simple: this is another issue in the arsenal for Burt to manoeuvre Bermuda towards independence by making the UK out to be the bad guy picking on poor old Bermuda. He’s banking on the UK not overturning Bermuda’s Supreme Court support for SSM (the real reason the PLP are flogging this dead horse), thus setting up the UK as what? Yes, the bad guy. If the UK doesn’t back this cannabis bill, guess what? Yes, it’s the bad guy.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Or he is pandering to the PLP hardcore knowing full well that the Bill is flawed and cannot be enacted as is.

      If you doubt what I say, look at the history of the Public Access to Information Act. It was passed by the DREB PLP Government in 2010 and it was lauded as a great PLP achievement. But nothing was done to actually appoint a commissioner until 2015, when the OBA was in power.

  18. Bias says:

    Why are the comments on this topic so bias… the premier is not picking a fight rather realizing, from past experience, that we cannot predict which way the UK will decide. Remember he was the shadow minister of finance when the UK at first were firmly in his corner concerning the airport deal. However by some stretch of the letter of the law the OBA exploited a loop hole and signed the deal. (A bad deal, that would not effect the UK so they let it slip through). Following that we got hit with blacklisting as a tax haven. So I can understand from that experience why he is not so trusting. A second point of interest is the same sex marriage issue. The government has said no time and time again and the crown’s courts have said yes. Now the matter is before the privy council and hands up who thinks that they will rule in opposition of the local courts? So if you consider all of that then maybe you can consider that what appears to be happening is that we the people are being silenced in favor the minority. This is still a democracy and the majority is what we go with in deciding our future. So yes I support the premier in his stand as I know he is standing on a fundamental principle that makes this island self governing and not UK governed. In case you didn’t know that is the reason why our flag is red and not blue like other colonies.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Why are the comments on this topic so bias… the premier is not picking a fight rather realizing, from past experience, that we cannot predict which way the UK will decide. ”

      Thank you for your PLP paid political comment. Your ignorance of Bermuda’s history is noted.

  19. Really says:

    Ego and ignorance. EB 2.0

    I love the fact we are using cannabis to distract the bigger issue of our economic collapse. Where is the budget?

    Friends and family and 2 Bermudas alive and well.

    The band plays on as the titanic sinks.

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