Constitution for mutual cooperation

I have pleasure in enclosing a draft new Constitution of the Cayman Islands, together with accompanying draft letters from the responsible Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister to yourself.

These documents represent the political agreement reached at the constitutional modernisation talks held at Lancaster House, London, from 3 to 5 February 2009, chaired by the Minister for the Overseas Territories, Gillian Merron MP.

As agreed at the talks, the enclosed documents may be published in the Cayman Islands in such manner as you see fit, to form a basis for public consultation prior to the referendum planned for 20 May, 2009. The draft new constitution will not be submitted to Her Majesty in the Privy Council to be formally enacted until it has been approved by the people of the Cayman Islands in the referendum. If the draft constitution is duly enacted, the accompanying letters would be sent at the same time.

If so approved and enacted, the draft new constitution will represent a modern and more democratic constitutional settlement between the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom, reflecting our relationship of partnership in the 21st Century, and in terms that are acceptable to both the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom.

The continuation of that relationship is a matter of mutual consent, and I believe the draft new Constitution will form a sound and modern basis for our mutual cooperation, in which there is a fair balance between greater local autonomy and the powers necessary to enable the United Kingdom to meet its responsibilities. I therefore hope that it will prove acceptable to the people of the Cayman Islands.

Ian Hendry

United Kingdom Constitutional Review Team