Minister of State for the Overseas Territories Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon joined leaders and representatives of the Overseas Territories this week for talks on hurricane recovery, Brexit, climate change, and tax transparency.
The annual Joint Ministerial Council, held between 28 and 29 November 2017 in London, was also attended by Ministers from across government, including the Department for Exiting the EU, the Department for International Development, Her Majesty’s Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department of Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The talks began with a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, at Downing Street where she updated leaders on the progress of discussions with the European Union and discussed progress on reforming financial services in the Overseas Territories.
The first day of the meetings focused on hurricane relief and recovery and wider UK programme support for the Overseas Territories, including a new £70 million package of recovery and reconstruction support for those islands hit by devastating hurricanes in September. This package sits alongside up to £300 million of UK loan guarantees for territories that need support to access finance.
Caribbean Hurricanes: Building Back Better
The second day of discussions covered a range of issues, including tax transparency and beneficial ownership; preparations for the 2018 Commonwealth Summit; child safeguarding; and climate change.
Minister for the Overseas Territories Lord Ahmad said:
It was wonderful to welcome the leaders of the Overseas Territories once again. The UK is clear that ongoing, close cooperation with the Overseas Territories is in our mutual interest.
We continue to be close partners on vital issues such as climate change and marine protection, and the UK is working closely with the governments of the Overseas Territories to deliver real change on health, corruption and child safeguarding.
The Prime Minister also announced new support for the Territories worst affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, with £70 million of grants and up to £300 million of loan guarantees to make sure essential recovery needs can be met.
Minister for Exiting the European Union Robin Walker led discussions on the progress of exit negotiations and the future Overseas Territories relationship with the EU.
Minister for Exiting the European Union Robin Walker said:
It was a pleasure to again meet with the leaders of the Overseas Territories and to continue our close engagement on shared priorities as we exit the EU.
The UK is responsible for representing the Overseas Territories’ priorities in exit negotiations and a clear objective of those negotiations is to achieve a deal that works for all parts of the UK family.
Leaders and representatives from the following Overseas Territories attended the two-day conference in London:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- St. Helena
- The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Tristan da Cunha
- Turks & Caicos Islands
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