A government delegation from the Cayman Islands is scheduled to begin two days of meetings with the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a bid to repair relations between the British Overseas Territory and the UK.
Cayman Islands Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Deputy Premier Rolston Anglin and others plan to meet Overseas Territories Minister Mark Simmonds and also visit the Cayman Islands’ London office and staff on Monday and Tuesday, 21 and 22 January.
“It is crucially important that we continue to ensure that we build a good relationship – some might say rebuild a relationship – with the [Foreign and Commonwealth Office],” Mr. Anglin said last week during the weekly government news briefing in Grand Cayman.
With just five months of the interim administration’s term to go, there had been some queries publicly about why government members felt it necessary to travel to London, especially as Premier O’Connor-Connolly has come under fire for her extensive overseas travel when serving as deputy premier under McKeeva Bush’s government.
“I think there’s been suggestions as to whether or not we can do it over the phone,” Mr. Anglin said. “There’s very important business that has to happen and there are times where, as elected leaders, we have to have face-to-face discussions with our counterparts and certainly meeting with the minister responsible for the OTs in person is crucially important for us rebuilding a relationship with the FCO and, by extension, HMG [Her Majesty’s Government].
“The premier has not had the opportunity to meet him face to face and so now as we navigate the next five months, it’s critically important that she has that opportunity to meet with the minister and be able to discuss issues of interest on both sides,” Mr. Anglin added.
High on the agenda in the meeting with Minister Simmonds will be Cayman’s finances.