Premier Panton joins pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting

Premier Wayne Panton joined leaders of 11 other British Overseas Territories via teleconference on Thursday, 27 May, to set the agenda for the Joint Ministerial Council meeting set to take place later this year with the British government in London.

The Overseas Territories leaders discussed the post-COVID recovery and economic resilience for all territories. Panton outlined the current situation in the Cayman Islands, as well as the successes and challenges of the vaccination campaign.

According to a government press release, Panton told his peers that Cayman is looking at multiple options to reopen borders safely.

The premier also secured a virtual meeting of OT financial services ministers, who will aim to issue a joint letter seeking clarification of the purpose of the EU-UK Joint Declaration on Financial Services Regulatory Cooperation. The meeting is yet to be scheduled.

The EU-UK declaration was adopted alongside a Trade and Cooperation Agreement in December 2020. Since then, both sides have agreed to establish a forum for cooperation on financial services issues and a framework for regulatory cooperation. Nevertheless, the UK and EU regulatory frameworks are likely to diverge over time.

Other topics of discussion included disaster management and border security.

The pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting also served as the political council meeting for the UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA).

Members approved a memorandum of understanding with the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) of the EU, which they plan to deliver at a meeting in June with the OCTA.

The president of UKOTA, Bermudian Premier David Burt, is expected to issue a letter on behalf of the British Overseas Territories to the UK Minister for the overseas territories outlining the proposed key agenda items for the upcoming Joint Ministerial Council.

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