05 November, 2007


UK Relations. My impression over the past months is that we in Anguilla have no interest in our relations with the UK. Other than a few constitutional lawyers, no one in Anguilla is even aware of the UK. We read a Dutch daily newspaper which carries US and international news. We look at US television. We have no British papers in circulation. We never hear any government official speaking about our relationship with the UK. The issue is a dead one. All talk about modernizing our Constitution has gone silent.

So, my attention was caught by an item in today’s issue of BVI News Online. Premier Ralph O’Neal has just announced that he has made a submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The Committee is conducting an Inquiry into the Overseas Territories [link here]. This is one of the most senior committees of the UK Parliament. The last time it made a similar inquiry, it was followed by the momentous paper “Partnership for Progress and Prosperity”. This paper completely restructured the way Britain saw its relationship with the Overseas Territories. Ten years having passed, the Committee is now reviewing the exercise by the FCO of its responsibilities in relation to the OTs. The most important of these are the security and good governance of the OTs. The Committee will focus on standards of governance and transparency. It will make recommendations on the role of Governors and other office-holders appointed by the UK government. It will focus on the regulation of the financial sector in the OTs. It will propose new procedures for the amendment of our Constitutions. It will consider the application of international treaties and conventions to us.

But, we in Anguilla have no views on any of these topics. We are numb about our relationship with the FCO. We have no ideas on improving that relationship. We have never even thought about the subject. We have no views to communicate. Our preferred strategy is to wait and see what the Committee recommends for us, and then the shouting will begin. That will occur in the first half of 2008.


  1. If we wait for someone to take care of us, that person will surely come along. Just don't be surprised if we find ourselves calling that person "Boss" or "Sir" or "Ma'am".

  2. The Ministers' silence about constitutional reform will provide an opportunity for political theatre and fear-mongering by the tiresome and desperate perennial opposition candidates, who can claim this is proof that our leaders have sold out to the British and are conspiring with a British takeover of Anguilla which will take out lands, homes and jobs and make us homeless wanderers begging for a crust of bread in some obscure part of the EU that has vampires.

    Read it soon in "The Light," in the phony letters to the editor.


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