Premier Responds To Sir John Swan’s Comments

November 22, 2023 | 42 Comments

“Disappointing and sadly out of step with today’s reality,” said Premier David Burt following Sir John Swan’s comments on the Government’s  proposal to initiate a consultation process leading to full membership in Caricom.

Premier Burt continued, “My first reaction was to check the date of the press conference because it could easily have been 2003 or even 1993. Sir John’s comments are completely unsupported by the facts.

“Having just returned from London and the annual meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council, the Minister of State, on behalf of the UK Government, fully endorsed the Government’s proposal to move towards full membership and looks forward to receiving Bermuda’s request for an Entrustment by which the UK Government will set out the parameters of the process.

“Those parameters will reflect Bermuda’s status as an Overseas Territory of the UK and will, by definition, be different to those full members who are sovereign states.”

The Premier continued, “Sir John’s comments on US Pre-Clearance are plainly irresponsible. US pre-clearance predates even Sir John’s tenure as Minister of Home Affairs and has been of benefit to Bermudians and visitors for almost 50 years.

“The United States is a valued trading partner and excellent neighbour. The relationship that has been built over decades would never be put at risk by this Government. The United States ensures economic relations with the Caribbean through its CBI initiative, launched in 1983 and maintains strong economic ties to Caricom.

“There is simply no evidence that Bermuda achieving full membership would in any way harm our relationship with the United States. The irony of Sir John’s comments is that in 1983, the US Senate specifically amended its definition of beneficiary countries under this Caribbean Basin Initiative to include Bermuda.

“In fact, the US has been fine with us affiliating with the Caribbean for 40 years, but apparently, Sir John is not. And the US were just fine with it three years later, in 1986, when Sir John’s famous US – Bermuda Tax Treaty was signed.”

“For the benefit of the public, here are some facts:

  • Caricom does not issue passports
  • Freedom of movement does not automatically follow full membership
  • Bermuda’s local immigration laws can continue to apply to any foreign national seeking to reside or work in Bermuda
  • The majority of Caricom Member states retain the Privy Council as their final court of appeal…and so, therefore would Bermuda

The Premier added, “The Government promised a consultation process and as part of that process, Bermudians will be provided with all relevant information to inform the process that leads to full membership.

“Perhaps what is most disappointing about Sir John’s comments are the echoes of a time when Bermudians were deliberately made to look down on their own ancestry in spite of our closeness to it. The UBP deliberately waged a targeted campaign to malign all things Caribbean here at home while profiting from the Region with business interests in the very Islands they said we should ignore.

“This is the same thinking that guided Bermuda’s tourism marketing away from using Black people or imagery to promote the Island and overtly discouraged any hint of growing African-American tourism. And where are we now compared to our Caribbean competitors? Still struggling to break through to pre- pandemic visitor numbers and unable to achieve the record visitor arrivals we see in those destinations to the South.

“In spite of this deliberate attempt to poison the consultative process, my door is always open to Sir John, who I respect as a predecessor in this office, but on this issue, he is plain wrong.”

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Comments (42)

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  1. LOL says:

    TICK TOCK is the OBA aka UBP going to say anything or are they going to continue dressing as Mime clowns until the next election?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      To whom is “the OBA aka UBP”?

      And why do you continue to live in the past?

      The UBP was dissolved more than a decade ago.

      • White Wash says:

        Stop wasting you’re time it’s a white established party that’s fronting black faces to try and get/trick voters. Same play style over and over again. 30-6 and the obaUBP has already loss the next 3 election.

        • Joey-Bag-O'donuts says:

          Yeah cause it’s always about skin color inna?

          • Yep says:

            Yes the UBPOBA has always made it about color thus the reason they keep using black surrogates to front. We can do better meaning we will do the same.

            • Truth says:

              No, actually, you and your plp ARE making everything about skin colour now.
              You’re racists and hyposctites…do you know what those words mean?

              LOL. Pathetic.

              • LOL - the real one says:

                ” hyposctites…do you know what those words mean?”

                I don’t know what that one means :)

        • wow says:

          It is a Bermudian Party covering all Bermudians.

          Barak Obama “Our goal to to have a country NOT divided by race”

          Meanwhile because of PLP and their divisive politics in order to retain power, they are not being held to account. This has led to us having war zone roads, debt beyond our means, a crazy high cost to live in own country and a list of failures by Burt and the PLP that have cost us all and will cost our pockets more and more.

          • No wow says:

            It’s a 95% white party using 5%blk Bermudians to win a 1 sided election.

            • Truth says:

              You’re a racist. We’re supposed to be better than that, but I guess you’ll always be a bigot. Too bad, Bermuda will never move forward, with racists like you.

        • frank says:

          the only one left from the UBP in the OBA is Dunkley

        • Right Ru says:

          You keep bragging about 30-6 election win….what do we honestly have to show for it? Honestly, what is better since the PLP took over.

          Is your cost of living less? Hows ya rent/ mortgage, health insurance, food belco and more?

          Is crime up or down? Is employment up or down? Are Bermudians leaving or staying? Is our education system better? Hows our national debt? Heath Insurance and the sytem itself better or worse? How is the price of food for your family since the sugar tax?

          What else can you really celebrate since the 30-6 win? What , tell me what is better. F&F need not reply, we know all is good for you guys?

    • SSDD says:

      Only mirroring the behavior exhibited by our Government Leaders. TBH if they were Mimes we would better off. The verbal nonsense they sprout is not worth the time to listen to it.

    • frank says:

      the only one left from the UBP in the OBA is Dunkley

  2. Swing Voter no more says:

    Sorry Burt but it’s 3 things everyone will not do.

    1 Nope never voting for any Caricom Membership, fix the roads!

    2 Nope nope NEVER voting for a bunch fake surrogates in the oba which we all know is the same ubp with a name change! All my black friends are saying this!

    3 Nope not showing up to vote for the PLP if you run as Premier! 50% of my black friends already said NO to you as leader.

    We need a new PLP leader next election which is safe to say will be late 2024 or early 2025.

    • huh says:

      The OBA is not the UBP. It is completely different. They had an incredibly positive impact on Bermuda and the economy despite the constant PLP attacking and PLP created pressure groups shouting down , marching and stirring up emotions of the public.

      when the OBA came into power, there was not enough money in the kitty to pay the next payroll for the government workers, when the PLP emotionally stole back into power, there was plenty to meet payroll. The airport was built at no cost (it would have cost us taxpayers more during covid if we had built the airport than the minimum revenue guarantee payments, plus the additional debt and interest on debt to build it. the airport was an amazing deal for Bermudian tax payers). the pathways to status which was so feverishly demonstrated against was clearly needed by Bermuda as PLP mps have stated we need 8,000 additional people in Bermuda in 4 years (now make that 3 as one has passed). PLP has been doing this and trying to push through legislation to do exactly what the pathways to status aimed to do, despite fighting against it.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        Not that the truth matters anymore, but here is my attempt.

        The UBP was formed in 1964 in response to the formation of the PLP.

        The UBP formed the Government from 1968 to 1998.

        The UBP lost power to the PLP in 1998.

        The UBP was dissolved in 2011.

        The OBA came to power at the end of 2012 and lost power to the PLP in 2017.

        The PLP has governed Bermuda since 2017.

        • huh says:

          The Bermuda Democratic Alliance as formed in 2009. Completely open doors for all to join. So many new faces from all across Bermuda. they then accepted a few remnants of the UBP under the OBA.

          I voted for the PLP in 1998

          I liked the PLP under dame Jennifer Smith, but ever since the “we had to deceive you” PLP post election replacing her the PLP have been a disaster. The OBA did an amazing job when they were in power considering the hand they were dealt . We need that again.

      • frank says:

        the only one left in the OBA from the old UBP is the milk man

    • Answer says:


      2 Nope nope NEVER voting for a bunch fake surrogates in the oba which we all know is the same ubp with a name change! All my black friends are saying this!

      3 Nope not showing up to vote for the PLP if you run as Premier! 50% of my black friends already said NO to you as leader.

      • wow says:

        sounds like you and your friends are victims of the PLP propaganda machine brainwashing. That propaganda is designed purely to divide in order to retain power without accountability. This does not benefit Bermudians or Bermuda….Look at the results, recognize the failure, see the roads, look at how derelict Bermuda is looking, look at the costs of living and surviving. Wake up and realize you are being tricked and used by the current PLP to retain power just because of the colour of your skin. I want a PLP that is accountable, bring back Dame Jennifer Smith.

        • iyiyi says:

          It’s useless , common sense does not exist in many of the voters . If they cannot think for themselves they just follow like a school of anchovies with no clue of why .

        • X oba Voter says:

          When are you going to admit that the OBA = UBP is using black surrogate agents to try and trick black supporters into returning? It’s a failed experiment election after election. It’s so obvious to both black and white voters why the surrogates are fronting for a white party. To appear diverse. When the OBA=UBP is finally honest maybe black voters will return, until that time continue using Jarion.

          • Right Ru says:

            Cool, you keep hating and putting a Trump esk spin on things. You just keep protectin Burt like ya did Brown. Let me know how that is working out for you?

          • wow says:

            Only one UBP person in the OBA . More UBP people in the PLP


  3. Steve says:

    Get your head out of the sand Blurt. Sir John is right.

    • Butt head burt says:

      Don’t you men get it out of the dr,s rear end. Never seen such arrogant disrespectful comrades I swarm they follow Kim jung Mung North Korean dictatorial style.

  4. Hey says:

    What does full membership mean as apposed to associate member.What is the main benefit?

    • Warrior says:

      They do not know anything for example the closure of schools. Births are down..yes. Bermudians and Ex-Pats have for families re housing, schooling and employment. What is government going to get out of these closures: renovations to schools for emergency housing, sell off to overseas companies, this is a possibility just like company we were told..crypto-currency was it. The building is fully occupied by roaches. ants, spiders..just like promises made by Mr. Burt and party. Seniors 4% increase was no were enough and FA clients gets more then our Seniors in every instance. This is cause for serious review.

  5. Wow says:

    You took a while to answer this Burt. You also did not identify a single benefit. Worst Premier yet. PLP should bring back Dame Jennifer Smith.

  6. Philippa says:

    As with Independence, I would like to know what the benefits are and the costs of membership. Just one solid benefit please.

  7. Vote for me says:

    Burt blames the UBP for tourism numbers failing to exceed pre pandemic numbers? Someone remind him the PLP defeated the UBP in 1998 and the pandemic ended in 2022. Sums up his mindset perfectly. Totally delusional. Who would believe anything he says.

  8. Steve says:

    PLP. What a bunch of hypocritical people. Bermuda is in a mess with these clowns. Clueless twits

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Think hard. Whose word can be trusted? Easy question.

  10. Steve says:

    Only word to describe Burt. Starts with
    W ends with R. Get my drift sure you all can fill out the other 3 letters

  11. Hilarious! says:

    “Disappointing and sadly out of step with today’s reality,” – seems like an honest self-evaluation to me.

  12. rotten onion says:

    I’ll take Sir John any day. Look at the track records.
    No Brainer.

    • Glen says:

      You know what still amazes me? The fact that all you, OBA supporters still don’t use your real names? I am just asking, but could there be some truth behind what someone has said, that you are all white? Just asking!

  13. Marine Life says:

    Immaturity! The Biggest representation of this Government is the upkeep of the Infrastructure of this Island and satisfaction of the people they ‘Lord Over’. Forget the Fat! FIX THE ROADS!! Fix the Drains! The roads flood with every downpour! Fix the Incinerator! Fix the schools! That group on the hill sickens me! This Island is RAT INFESTED because of the one day trash collection! In my quality of living, this worthless Government has not done anything positive for me except disappoint! FIX YOUR WORTHLESS ROADS!!!

    • Pa says:

      We have to call it like it is .
      As the stories of above here are read there appears signs which are showing voter discontentment.
      Can’t keep sweeping the problems under the rug any more.
      When is the right time to make things better ?
      Too late to man the pumps when the decks are a~ wash .
      That all seems like never, because there is no hope as each party fight for power !
      Are we living in an island plagued by trouble makers with a hatred manifested by a small minority.
      Are we at war with our selves, where does that get us ?
      The name calling and back biting is nothing short of childish.
      We were the most friendly of people on the planet.
      If people hate one another they must hate them selves.
      Socially this land is dead, other peoples culture does not work here blame , third rate TV.
      Our government has a problem and a responsibility to be dealt with and need to govern by example.
      There are a social racial disease a national sickness that has been plagueing our island for years .
      People take there money flay away .
      If this island does not deal with the poblem then we are and have become the problem and live with it .

      Are you ready for WW111 ::::::::::::: I have seen WW11 you never hear the sound of the bullet that kills you.

  14. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Perhaps what is most disappointing about Sir John’s comments are the echoes of a time when Bermudians were deliberately made to look down on their own ancestry in spite of our closeness to it.”

    There it is.

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