The Premier, who attended the Joint Ministerial Council meetings in London along with other leaders and representatives from Britain’s Overseas Territories (OTs) earlier this month, said that the UK’s exit from the EU — following a referendum earlier this year — would not change its relationship with the OTs.
He told the House of Assembly on Monday that the Bermuda government was working to ensure that Bermudians would retain free movement throughout the EU area.
Dunkley said that although Bermuda’s people did not get to vote in the referendum on Brexit, “we respect the decision of the UK people”.
Opposition Progressive Labour Party legislator Walton Brown expressed his concern over the prospective impacts on Bermuda, an island of 65,000 residents in the Atlantic around 570 miles east-southeast of the American state of North Carolina.
“The UK doesn’t have a very good track record of listening to the Overseas Territories,” he said.
Dunkley responded by saying that the Joint Ministerial Council meetings were “the most consultative we’ve ever had” and the One Bermuda Alliance government would ensure that its voice would be heard as discussions continue.
He added said that potentially tighter offshore tax rules imposed by Brussels “does not concern Bermuda”.
“We have consistently had direct engagement in Brussels and EU nations on a bilateral basis,” he said.
“In some cases there has been assistance from the UK government, but for the most part Bermuda has defended its own battles and developed a unique skill in highlighting our valued economic contribution to the global economy.”
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