Premier Alden McLaughlin is in London on official business this week where he promised to unite all interests at home.
“We have a government of unity that will aim to address the interests of the Cayman Islands and our people for the next four years,” he said.
At an official lunch on Monday the Premier spoke about the election results and the new coalition government. He also discussed Cayman’s good economic position and the need during this administration to focus on social and other issues facing Cayman.
Mr. McLaughlin is there with Minister Roy McTaggart and Minister Tara Rivers and other delegates. On Tuesday, they attended a pre-Joint Ministerial Council gathering of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association with leaders or representatives from the Overseas Territories, including Bermuda, Gibraltar, BVI, Montserrat, Anguilla, Falkland Islands, St. Helena, TCI, Tristan da Cunha and Pitcairn.
The first plenary session was Brexit, a Global Britain, where the OTs discussed matters of concern around Brexit, which were to be discussed with the U.K. Other topics relevant to British Territories were also discussed.
Tuesday night the Premier hosted a reception for Caymanian students studying in London and the Friends of the British Overseas Territories at the Cayman Islands London Office where he discussed the impact of Brexit to the Overseas Territories and made special note that the Cayman Islands and other Overseas Territories “need all the friends they can get right now”.
At the reception Mr. McLaughlin thanked the group for its continued support and advocacy of the Overseas Territories, each of which is diverse, unique and a special part of Britain.
The Premier also thanked Andrew Rosindell, MP who was also attending, for his work promoting and support over many years of the Cayman Islands.
He also encouraged the students and young people at the reception to get involved in championing the Cayman Islands while they study in London and welcomed them to the reception.
On Monday, the Premier hosted a lunch for Friends of Cayman at the Travellers Club off Pall Mall, which included key stakeholders in the U.K. Former Governor of the Cayman Islands and chair of the Friends of Cayman, John Owen, was in attendance as well as head of the Cayman office in London Eric Bush.
“It is always good to be with friends, especially the Friends of Cayman here in the U.K. who have a keen interest in the Cayman Islands and willing ambassadors to promote our various industries,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
Mr. Owen recalled Friends of Cayman hosting an auction at the House of Commons which raised over £50,000 for the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme during its inception in 2003.
Through the Friends of Cayman, Stanley Johnson, renowned conservationist, writer and father of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, is coming to the Cayman Islands in August to write about the success of the Blue Iguana Programme.
In the afternoon, Minister Rivers and Minister McTaggart, along with Chief Officer Dr. Dax Basdeo met with a delegation from the Isle of Man led by Chief Minister Howard Quayle. Matters of mutual interest, including financial services, were discussed.
Monday evening Mr. McLaughlin hosted a dinner at the House of Commons for more than 30 Members of Parliament and Peers from across all parties, including members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Cayman Islands with the chair, Graham Brady MP, who is also chairman of the influential Conservative Party 1922 Committee.
Also in attendance was the Governor Helen Kilpatrick.
During the dinner, the Premier spoke about Cayman and its ties to the United Kingdom going back centuries with its earliest settlers being British. He recounted Cayman’s decision in the 1960s to remain British and discussed our constitutional history.
He also said that the Cayman Islands operates its financial services industry in the highest ethical standards; always transparent in the way we perform an all-important role for business not only in London, but around the globe.