As published on caymancompass.com, Sunday February 23, 2020.
Premier Alden McLaughlin will begin a series of meetings in London this week with UK leaders as he moves to build on relations across the pond to champion Cayman’s reputation.
It comes on the heels of the European Union’s decision last week to blacklist Cayman as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction, the only British overseas territory named.
The blacklisting also follows the UK’s departure from the EU through Brexit.
Cayman, together with Palau, Panama and the Seychelles, was added to the list at a meeting of the bloc’s finance ministers last Tuesday.
The EU, in its statement on the list, said, “These jurisdictions did not implement the tax reforms to which they had committed by the agreed deadline.”
The Cayman Islands had committed to address by the end of last year EU concerns over economic substance in the area of collective investment funds.
Cayman, Palau, Panama and the Seychelles joined American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu on the list.
McLaughlin, who left for London Friday, said government has already contacted EU officials to start the process of being removed from the blacklist as soon as possible.
The Premier’s Office, in a statement Friday, said McLaughlin will meet with Sir Edward Lister, chief of staff to the UK prime minister at 10 Downing Street to discuss the EU’s decision as “on-going matters.”
“These meetings are important because Cayman continues to stand strong in the world and we need to continue to champion good relations with the UK,” said McLaughlin, in the statement.
The premier will also have an introductory visit with Baroness Elizabeth Sugg, new minister with responsibility for the overseas territories and sustainable development in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
He will also meet with Prince Charles, UK ministers and parliamentarians, and senior officials with the City of London Corporation.
“I am also looking forward to meeting Baroness Sugg to ensure we have a close working relationship and continued cooperation with the United Kingdom. Too, I believe it is important that the Cayman Islands and the UK work more closely on trade issues,” the premier said.
The statement said the meetings were organised by McLaughlin’s Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs and “are part of the on-going engagement strategy and partnership with the UK Government and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.”
International Trade Ministry Chief Officer Eric Bush and McLaughlin’s senior political adviser Roy Tatum are also in London for the meetings.
Financial services industry members Dan Scott, Alasdair Robertson and Kevin Lloyd are accompanying McLaughlin on the trip as well.
The Seychelles joined
Trinidad and Tobago
US Virgin Islands