British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021

UK has no intention to let OT MPs sit in House of Commons - Cayman Islands Governor

Latest Virgin Islands (BVI) News A draft bill that proposes Overseas Territory (OT) representation in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament, House of Commons, by local elected Member of Parliament (MP), will likely be rejected by the UK Government. local community, politics, finance/business, culture and sports.

This is according to Governor of the Cayman Islands, Martyn K. Roper who was quoted in local media, the Cayman Compass this week on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

The bill entitled Representation of the People, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories Bill was drafted by UK MPs John D. Penrose and Andrew R. Rosindell as well as a member of the Friends of the British Overseas Territories (FOTBOT) and former member of the States of Guernsey, Anthony Webber.

The group has been pushing the UK Parliament to give a voice to the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies who currently have no official representation in parliament.

UK Gov't won't take the bill forward - Governor Roper

However, according to the Governor, “This proposal is emphatically not one that the UK Government wishes to take forward. It raises significant practical challenges. It is therefore very unlikely to proceed further or be debated in Parliament,” he told the Compass in an email.

Mr Roper pointed out that the issue is a subject that arises every few years, “Unsurprising given that support for the Overseas Territories crosses party lines and members of Parliament constantly look for ways to demonstrate that support,” he said.

The draft legislation was submitted to the UK Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson aka ‘Boris’ for consideration in March this year, however, Andrew R. Rosindell, a British MP told the Compass there is no bill before the UK Parliament that would give Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies representation.

Meanwhile, Bermuda MP Thomas C. Famous has since accused the proponents of the bill of not engaging OT Governments before moving forward with the draft legislation.

No consultations with OTs - Bermuda MP Thomas C. Famous

“First of all you have these white guys in England, who just sit up and say hey, let's go put together a Bill concerning the Overseas Territories but somebody says hey, shouldn't we talk to the overseas territory? No no no, we’ll put together the bill, we know what's best for them… so that the height of arrogance,” he said.

Mr Famous was at the time speaking on radio programme ‘Motion to Adjourn’ on Bermuda’s Power 95.1 on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

The Bermuda MP further denounced the proposal for the Bill’s allowance of any UK citizen resident in an Overseas Territory including guest workers, to be able to participate in local elections. The Bill also allows for any British or Commonwealth Citizen residing in the overseas territories the right to run for the office of MP to Westminster.


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