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UK – British OTs agree to closer collaboration

  • New Joint Declaration agreed by United Kingdom (UK) Government and elected leaders of British Overseas Territories (OTs).
  • Declaration commits to a new, more collaborative and ‘modern partnership’ between the UK and the OTs.
  • Includes plan to deepen bilateral partnerships, enhance transparency and support the OTs to take on more responsibilities should they wish to do so.

By Department of Communications

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – The UK Government and elected leaders of the British Overseas Territories have agreed on a new Joint Declaration. The Declaration defines a new, more collaborative and ‘modern partnership’ between the UK and the OTs – one that’s based around our shared democratic values and respect for human rights.

As part of the Declaration, the UK and OTs committed to; improve transparency and deepen bilateral partnerships, consult OTs on UK primary legislation that impacts them and support OTs to take on more responsibilities where they wish to do so.

UK minister for the Overseas Territories, David Rutley, said: “The Overseas Territories are an important part of the British Family, and our shared values such as support for democracy and the rule of law underpin this close relationship. Our new Joint Declaration sets out more clearly than ever how the UK and Overseas Territories will work closer together on the opportunities and challenges of the modern world.”

The Joint Declaration was agreed during the UK and British Overseas Territories Annual Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London on 14 – 15 November and has now been formally approved within the OTs.

Other commitments in the agreement include investigating improvements to how the UK provides financial support to OTs and agreeing to speak with one voice on the international stage, such as at the United Nations. It also creates more opportunities for the OTs to take on responsibilities where they want to, such as around transparency measures, and through the development of ‘Compacts.’

These ‘Compacts’ will set out roles and responsibilities on specific issues bespoke to each community. The UK will seek to agree these detailed bilateral agreements with each of the OTs.

Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly stated:

“Our government, having consulted with the opposition, has approved this Declaration as we are satisfied that it does not compromise or fetter any of the rights, responsibilities and powers that are established under our Constitution which is one of the most advanced amongst Overseas Territories.

We look forward to future negotiations on the content of our bilateral Compact and I have written to minister Rutley to request that these discussions take place here in the Cayman Islands in order to ensure the widest possible engagement”.

Also commenting on the agreed Joint Declaration, Her Excellency Governor Jane Owen, stated:

“The Declaration reinforces our commitment to a modern and transparent partnership, and our collective ambition to deliver a prosperous and secure future for all our people. I am proud that Cayman has chosen to be part of the British global family and I applaud the inclusive approach the Cayman Islands government has taken with their commitment to including public engagement in this exercise.”




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