The Cayman Islands and other British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean are gaining support for their goal of making a constitutional change in respect to how all British Overseas Territories are governed.
Four members of the UK Parliament, Andrew Rosindell, Henry Smith, Colonel Robert Stewart and Martin Vickers, visited the Cayman Islands this weekend to offer their support.
Describing the management as “a bit of a muddle,” the group, who were representing the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Cayman Islands and was invited to the Caribbean country by the government, stressed the need for equality spanning the entire “British family.”
All of the Conservative MPs said they were not in favor of the recent UK amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. They raised concerns about the threat to the autonomy of the territories with the imposition of an order-in-council, if that was to happen, according to Caribbean News Now.
“Transparency is very important, but what is also important is a level playing field and fairness between the UK and the Cayman Islands,” said Smith. “With the current legislation, we don’t have that. I don’t think it recognizes all the work that has been done and the law that exists in the Cayman Islands already. It’s not a very well thought through piece of legislation.”
He went on to describe the discrepancies between the British government and its overseas territories as being “untidy and needs further revision.”
Their invitation to the islands was based on their support in the islands' struggle to prevent the establishment of a public register for beneficial owners by amending the constitution.
The U.K. Parliament approved, in May, the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which aims to combat money-laundering. However, the new legal measures, which will adversely affect the financial services of its former colonies or current overseas territories in the Caribbean, has been condemned by the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, associate members – Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands – and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.