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British OTs, UK Gov’t agree to a more collaborative ‘modern partnership’

- Will UK Gov’t finally end colonial style decision making from London?
Minister for the Overseas Territories David Rutley with elected leaders of the British Overseas Territories. Photo: UK Gov't
Commenting on the move, UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, David H. Rutley said, 'The Overseas Territories are an important part of the British Family, and our shared values such as support for democracy and the rule of law underpin this close relationship.' Photo: Internet Source
Commenting on the move, UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, David H. Rutley said, 'The Overseas Territories are an important part of the British Family, and our shared values such as support for democracy and the rule of law underpin this close relationship.' Photo: Internet Source
LONDON, UK – The British Overseas territories (OTs) of Anguilla, Ascension, Bermuda, [British] Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and Turks and Caicos Islands, along with the Government of the United Kingdom, have agreed to a Joint Declaration for a more collaborative and ‘modern partnership’ between the two.

This comes as some OT Governments and parliamentarians have over the years complained bitterly of colonial-style decision making from the UK on matters that impact OTs without consulting the people or their representatives. 

Joint declaration between both sides 

Now, the renewed partnership is being pushed as one more that is more suited to the 21st century and includes a plan to enhance transparency and support OTs to take on more responsibilities and accountability should they wish to do

This agreement was reached during the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meetings of November 14 and 15, 2023.

In a policy paper published today, December 14, 2023, by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) entitled ‘Joint Declaration of governments of the United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories: A Modern Partnership for a Stronger British family,’ it said the parties noted progress and challenges since the publication of the 2012 white paper – The Overseas Territories: Security, Success, and Sustainability.

It reaffirms that each UK Government Department is responsible for supporting the OTs as needed, within its areas of competence and expertise. “We acknowledge the political, economic, and technological shifts which have created a more complex international environment for the United Kingdom (UK) and British Overseas Territories to navigate.  Against this backdrop, we reaffirm the deep, historic, and enduring partnership between the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories,” the paper noted. 

Further, the paper detailed that the parties recognize and celebrate the diversity of the UK and each British Overseas Territory, its communities, and cultures, “We are family, united by shared values and working together to deliver for our peoples and overcome collective challenges. We reaffirm the unique and intricate bond between our communities.”

More transparency and bilateral relations

As such, as part of the declaration, the UK and OTs committed to; improving transparency and deepening bilateral partnerships; consult OTs on UK primary legislation that impacts them; and support OTs to take on more responsibilities where they wish to do so.

Commenting on the move, UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, David H. Rutley said, “The Overseas Territories are an important part of the British Family, and our shared values such as support for democracy and the rule of law underpin this close relationship.” 

“Our new Joint Declaration sets out more clearly than ever how the UK and Overseas Territories will work closer together on the opportunities and challenges of the modern world.” 

He said other commitments in the agreement include investigating improvements to how the UK provides financial support to OTs and agreeing to speak with one voice on the international stage, such as at the United Nations. 

15 Responses to “British OTs, UK Gov’t agree to a more collaborative ‘modern partnership’”

  • ta ta (14/12/2023, 19:02) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    Uk will never uphold their side
    • HMMM (15/12/2023, 14:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This has to be a joke. How can you be in a modern partnership when all one side of the partnership does is dictate to the other side while their affairs are worse than those they are dictating to.
    • Well Sah (15/12/2023, 14:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      What kind of modern partner uses slavery methods like two orders in council to make the other partner’s financial services industry with their companies have public register and the other to suspend the constitution unless they do exactly what they say and implement what all they say and by when they say. Meanwhile there is nothing in place to hold the other partner accountable nor can they be looked into. They need to stop their PR games as people are not fools.
  • GateKeeper (14/12/2023, 19:28) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    How binding is this declaration of a new modern partnership? Is it just convenient diplomat speak? Will succeeding UK government (s) be bounded to it? Will the declaration be approved by Parliament and assented to by the Crown? Will all OT constitutions be reworked to remove the undemocratic practices? Will any devolve actions be still easily reversed by the UK,eg, suspending the constitution? Currently, the UK is dark and silent on reparations for the descendants of slaves in former Caribbean countries and will it now reverse course and consider reparations? Will OT have representation in Parliament ? Will integration into the UK be a choice for OTs? Will people in the OTs have input in who is deployed as governor in the respective territories? Is Diego Garcia still an OT? In or around 1967, residents of Diego Garcia, a British Indian Ocean Territiory( BIOT) and the largest of the approx 60 islands in the Chagos Archipelago, was forcibly removed from the island to make room for a joint US/UK military base. The people of Diego Garcia are homesick and aching to return to their homeland .ever since their forced expulsion. Will the remaining few allowed to return home? Will they or their descendants get reparations for the pain and suffering from their expulsion? The former colonies of the Carribean/West Indies went into independence poor, with undeveloped infrastructure, institutions, poor healthcare, undereducation, undeveloped economy, no development package, etc. Will the OT suffer the same neglect, ie, no development assistance?
    • Bush Professor (14/12/2023, 21:42) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      The UK benefitted immensely from the Slave trade and slavery but continue to run away from the subject of reparations for slave descendants. Sir Richard Ottoway in the Oxford Union debate on reparations said it would be patronizing and unnecessary. Controversial former governor Gus Jaspert skirted the issue when the media asked him about it. The Crown reps come up to the line when asked but refuse to address the issue. So I doubt this new modern partnership declaration will address the issue. The UK will retain the power to easily reverse devolved issues. You can forget the integration of any OT into the UK, for they don’t see any benefit accruing to them.OT representation in Parliament? Expelled residents being allowed back into Diego Garcia. You can forget it, for might is right and…..,,… The jury is still out on how meaningful and valuable this modern partnership would be.
    • Socrates (15/12/2023, 04:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      To GateKeeper, you are meeting the spirit and intent of the Vigilate inscription on the VI cost of arms by asking deep, relevant, probing, Socratiic questions. You are on watch and staying woke. The people of the VI must do more than stay Vigilate though; they have gotten soft, lost the will to fight, gotten too comfortable, lost the signature rugged individualism,, gotten to altruistic with colonialists false ideology, ie, being on a civilizing mission, etc, and must regain the fighting spirit/will to protect and preserve their homeland, resisting recolonization, should they not????? Socrates out until next time.
    • Bush Professor (16/12/2023, 08:28) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ GateKeeper, so the UK , John Bull, and the US , Uncle Sam, forcibly expelled the residents of Diego Garcia so the US could commissioned a huge naval facility, viz,US Naval Suppport Facilty Diego Garcia. This is a clear and real example of might is right, might is white. Was this another lie about being a civilizing mission, the White man’s as wrote by Poet Rudyard Kipling? Did either the US or UK give even a rat’s ass about the humanity, rights, feelings, well-being, disruption, heritage, etc, of the non-white population on the island? No. They didn’t give a rat’s ass and treated them, other human beings as an expendable thing just as the Palestinians are being treated in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In case we forget, the Kenneth Bates-Hill giveaway agreement negotiated by Administrators Thompson and Martin was pushing Anegadians to a rocky portion of Anegada into the sea. This Diego Garcia expulsion is a great example of American exceptionalism. Ok, I also have some oil rich land on Fallen Jerusalem for sale cheap; it not dear. Call me @ XXX-YYY-ZZZZ.
      • Bush Professor (16/12/2023, 11:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Correction:….” the White man’s as wrote by Poet Rudyard Kipling? ” , should have instead read ‘ White Man’s Burden’ (1899)as written as written by poet Rudyard Kipling. It was supposedly the White man’s burden to civilize the brutes and heathens. But the truth is, it was about exploitation, expropriation of people, land and resources in far away lands whose people were no match for the invaders, conquerers, exploiters, etc. might and power.
  • great (14/12/2023, 19:39) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Time to commence rotating all the public servants in these OT's to work in all the OT's during the first 20 years of their public service career. After successfully completing their 20 year rotation overseas then they can choose to return to their home OT to continue their public service career or continue rotating.
    • @great (15/12/2023, 05:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Great, typically rotating personnel through the various functions in an organization provides for a stronger, more prepared and competitive cross functional team. To me, this is only effective if the personnel are performing work outside of their normal worksetting. Rotating from OT to OT outside of one’s homeland to perform the same governing functions is not worth the action. It is better for personnel to remain in their home country among family, friends, etc and rotated through the various functions in government perhaps. I say perhaps because being a jack of all trade is not as effective as developing specialists in specific areas. For example, a screwdriver can be substituted for a chisel but it is not as effective as a chisel. Nonetheless, to do what you want to do will require a Central Government which the OTs will be subordinate too. This has its own level of challenges in regards to self-determination.
  • lodger (14/12/2023, 21:05) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    What of load of BS! With the UK you must read between the lines
  • @ ASURE (14/12/2023, 21:31) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    AKA ) gatekeeper what u A ? Judge jury & X - ECUTIONER ? ○¿○
    • Rubber Duck (15/12/2023, 06:08) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      See the UK loves the OTs
      • Quiet Storm (15/12/2023, 08:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        The UK are snakes in the grass and snakes are snakes and do what snakes do, ie, they turn on you. The fooled and exploited our forebears and we would be fools to be so easily fooled again. Regan say trust but verify. They throw around the term family so easily but if this the way treat family thanks but no thanks. They can cart their asses.
  • pat (15/12/2023, 11:55) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is a good article that really frames what this new commitment is about.

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