Providenciales, TCI, July 22, 2016 – The Governor believes it is too early to know what it will mean to UK Overseas Territories that the British people have decided to exit the European Union, and they did this last month without the input of its territories abroad. Based on a speech issued to media by the His Excellency Peter Beckingham, our premier, Hon Dr Rufus Ewing is in receipt of a letter from London about the vote which stunned the world. I quote H.E. “It is too early to predict what these changes signify for Turks and Caicos and the other Territories, but Baroness Anelay was at pains in her letter to Premier Ewing to underline the continued commitment of the UK Government to the Overseas Territories, as well as to involve them in the preparations for negotiations for the UK to leave the EU.”
It is clear from Premier Ewing, he would have preferred to have a say in the vote and it was expressed the day after the results on national radio by the country leader, that if he could vote in the referendum it would be to say with the European Union.
Still, His Excellency Peter Beckingham in addressing the pre JMC or pre Joint Ministerial Council meeting which is for the first time being held here in the Turks and Caicos Islands for all overseas territory leaders and which also welcomed CARICOM, is advising for all to wait and see because there is a big job ahead for Britain. “It is clearly going to be a major task for UK Ministers and officials to prepare the groundwork for the UK’s exit from the EU. But Cabinet Ministers, the Cabinet Secretary and officials all left no doubt that this was a challenge which can be met, and provides opportunities to raise the profile of the UK globally. They were also equally clear that the Territories and Crown Dependencies like Jersey and the Isle of Man will continue to be a part of the new structures of trade and services which emerge from international negotiations.”
Six territories made it to the preliminary meetings held at the Palms Resort on Grace Bay in Providenciales since Wednesday, and Governor Beckingham categorized the state of affairs in the UK following the shocking results where 52% of those voting agreed to exit as this, “It was, on any reckoning, an extraordinarily dramatic day in British politics, but accomplished in style and dignity.”