22 November 2023
On Saturday 18 November the Chief Minister returned to the island following a week overseas.
The Chief Minister had travelled to the UK to attend the annual Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) and undertake a number of other official engagements.
Commenting on her trip, Chief Minister Julie Thomas said:
“This has been a very busy but extremely productive trip. This year’s JMC was conducted utilising a different format to usual, as the prime objective was to consider, with the view of finalising, a Joint Declaration between the governments of the UK and the Overseas Territories. This declaration, when approved by those Overseas Territories that still need to agree it through their internal processes, will be the foundation on which to build a modern partnership for a stronger British family. This therefore formed the centre of our discussions.”
“It was a pleasure to meet with Minister Rutley, the UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, for the first time and to meet again with Stephen Doughty MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Overseas Territories. The timing of the trip couldn’t have been better, as it provided me with the opportunity to also meet the newly appointed Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, on his first full day in position.”
“Along with other OT leaders I was able to meet with the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee to discuss their ongoing inquiry into the status of the Overseas Territories in the 21st Century, as well as with the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC). The intentions of FAC was welcomed by all OTs as it is their intention to formulate a sub-committee to scrutinise more closely the relationship between the UK and its OTs. I also attended a reception hosted for the Overseas Territories by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, where His Majesty again reiterated his interest and continued commitment to the OTs.”
“Now that JMC has concluded we, along with other OTs, will be diverting our focus toward the proposed new UK Overseas Territories Strategy from the UK Government, and we await further details about this in the near future.”
“I’m grateful to everyone who facilitated the meetings and events during the short time I was in the UK, and to Speaker Sir Lindsey Hoyle, who once again showed his commitment to the Overseas Territories by welcoming us to Speaker’s House. I’d also like to thank SHG’s UK Representative Kedell Worboys for her support both before and during my visit.”
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