CM BANKS AMONG OVERSEAS TERRITORIES LEADERS AT BREXIT MEETING
Government leaders from Anguilla and all of the other British Overseas Territories had their first meeting with United Kingdom Ministers in London, on Tuesday this week, on the implications of Britain leaving the European Union.
BREXIT, which the forthcoming departure of the United Kingdom is called, and which was voted on by the British electorate last year, has been a concern for Anguilla and its fellow overseas territories which were not consulted on the matter before the referendum.
This week’s meeting, regarded as a new forum of the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), is dedicated particularly to BREXIT. The British Minister for Exiting the European Union, Mr. Robin Walker, and Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay, hosted the OT leaders and representatives from the Overseas Territories at the meeting to ensure their interests regarding the impact of BREXIT are now taken into account.
A press release from London stated that the leaders of the territories welcomed the new forum as a means of facilitating direct and regular engagement with UK Ministers in preparation for, and during, the UK’s negotiations with the European Union. The leaders used the occasion to discuss areas of high priority and opportunities for their territories.
Mr. Walker, the Minister for Exiting the European Union, was quoted as saying:
“When the UK leaves the European Union the strong relationship we have with the Overseas Territories, and the important mutual trade and business links we share, will continue.
“The UK Government is committed to engaging with our friends in the Overseas Territories as we prepare to exit the EU, and ensuring that we get a deal that works for everyone. In this context, we discussed how the Territories can contribute to a truly global Britain.”
Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The Rt. Hon. Baroness Anelay, said:
“The Overseas Territories are integral to the UK Government’s ambitions to create a more outward looking United Kingdom. We are committed to taking their priorities into account as we prepare for negotiations to exit the EU.
“I have discussed this very issue during my visits to the Overseas Territories, and am keen to build on this early positive engagement to ensure the deal the UK Government ultimately negotiates works for all.”
The first Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council on European negotiations was attended by leaders and representatives from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena and Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Last week the British Government published its plan for a new, positive and constructive partnership in the mutual interest of the UK and the European Union with a White Paper presented to Parliament. The paper mirrors the 12 objectives the UK Government will use to negotiate BREXIT as set out by the Prime Minister last month.