11 July, 2007

UK Relations

Foreign Affairs Committee. The Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) of the UK House of Commons is one of the key structures to ensure accountability in the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. It plays an important role in monitoring the policies and performance of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

It has just been announced that the FAC will begin a comprehensive inquiry into all 14 of the British Overseas Territories in November. It will be looking at security and standards of governance, transparency and accountability, the role of governors, the regulation of the financial sector, the work of the Overseas Territories Consultative Council, procedures for the amendment of constitutions, human rights, the application of international treaties and conventions and agreements to the Overseas Territories, and relations between the Territories and the UK Parliament.

Anyone can volunteer to submit evidence to the FAC, either orally or in writing. The FAC can request or send for UK government officials to attend sittings of the committee to answer questions. The FAC can also consult any individual or organization on issues relevant to their inquiry. The committee decides what use to make of any information it receives. For more information on submitting evidence, visit the committee's website.

Deputy Governor Mark Capes of Bermuda has been quoted as saying, “In the course of conducting such an inquiry, we would expect the FAC to visit one or more of the Overseas Territories but that is entirely a matter for the FAC to decide.” It is not yet known if the review will see members of the committee wanting to visit Anguilla.

This announcement comes just a few weeks after the FCO reissued a 2003 paper giving guidance on good governance in the Overseas Territories.

Additionally, the UK National Audit Office is carrying out a review of the effectiveness of the FCO’s work in relation to the Territories. A report is expected later this year.

In Bermuda, members of the opposition are calling for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of corruption now circling around the heads of the Premier and other members of government. They have welcomed this initiative of the FAC as another tool in helping the locals to clean up government in their island. It will at the least ensure increased transparency regarding recent developments in that island.


  1. Never mind for the moment about the Foreigh Affairs committee. I want to hear what the government committee is going to negotiate with the British on 23 July. Why are you all not discussing this with the public.

  2. The "committee," as the writer calls it, has never met. Other than Justice Mitchell, we don't even know who the members are. Mr. Mitchell has already published the clearly expressed views of the Constitutional Review Commission, as well as his views on the lack of any known planning for the upcoming negotiations. This blog is not the public information office for the negotiators. Since their identity is a State Secret, we can't ask them.

    It has been alleged that Viceroy is now running the island. Various other deranged loudmouths from here to Florida, New York City to the Bahamas, believe they run things here. Perhaps you should ask them.

  3. Are you saying only those who reside on Anguilla are entitled to express an opinion about their birth island? It is close minded people like you who are creating division between your own people. Once an Anguillian always an Anguillian don't care whereever they go. They always return back to the rock eventually. Let our people roam get experience, education broaden their insights. Thanks, to the internet and advances in technology, barriers are broken down and they can still make a difference.

    You have an opinion and so do the many ANguillians who may not be on AXA. I wonder if you rather hear it from the Guyanese ANguillians?

  4. I apologise for the lack of clarity in my writing. I commented on deranged Anguillians in various lands. My criticism of these four is not where they are living at the moment but their opportunism and/or the state of their mental health.

    I admit to being close minded about those who refer to themselves as "we" and imply that their views represent my own.

  5. Can we now "done" with the personal remarks?


  6. Mr. Chief Minister May we see the facts?

    From now on there will be Monthly Press briefings from the Chief MInister. Hopefully, he will get around to give his views on the constitution.

    The Chief Minister in his address to the people spoke at length about the economic growth on Anguilla. He appears to be reading from information only he is privy to. In this era, I believe it is time we see the facts and lets us intepret the data for ourselves. Where can I peruse the data on how much were given away to the investors and who got the crumbs? Why are economic statistics not updated?

    We were facing a 20 million debt in 2001? That is news to me. I recall this governement boasting about only having surpluses. The UF lack of planning led you to throw away Anguilla to foreign investors? Mr. Chief Minister what if there is another 911? Did the impact of 911 impacted Anguilla more than Hurricane Luis? You did not create a wild wild west after Hurrricane Luis. Is it because this government misused funds in 2001 that resulted in such a huge deficit? Is that why all elected members got a pay raise and luxury vehcles? Mr. Chief Minister, you seem to think tourism is our only choice. Do we really need 2 golf courses, a mega marina, onlsaught of luxury condominiums and private villas Mr. Chief Minister? Do you see no future in information technology, financial services or higher education as a revunue earner, Mr. Chief Minister?

    Mr. Chief Minister when you create all these luxury private homes for millionairs while the illiteracy gap grows bigger who do you think will inherit Anguilla? Mr. Chief Minister why are you creating 2000 jobs for 500 people? Do you have schools and hospitals beds to accomodate this influx of people?

    Mr. Chief MInister, are you going to implement a minimum wage now in a hurry without the statistics to back it up? The last wage survey was done in 2003.

    Please Mr. Chief Minister lets us see the facts to support all the economic benefits Anguillians are reaping so we can study them for ourselves. My facts show Angullians are getting 15% of the profits and foreign investors and foreign managers, engineers, supervisors, chefs, and others are reaping 85%.


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