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Cayman Delegation Meetings Manchester and London

11 October 2017, 8:00 AM
Politics & Government
radiocayman
Following on from the successful meetings in Brussels with key EU decision makers, the Cayman delegation led by Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, travelled to Manchester to the Conservative Party Conference.  The aim was to utilise the conference to continue engagement with elected members of the UK government to help them better understand Cayman's Financial Services business and the important role we play to the UK and world business.
 
The team attended various events in Manchester including the Gibraltar Reception where they met several key individuals including James Cleverly MP, and Andrew Rosindell MP; both are members of Cayman's All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) -- which aims to support and increase awareness of the Cayman Islands in Westminster.
Mr. McLaughlin said "it was good to catch up with James and Andrew and to update them on the needs of our fellow Overseas Territories (OT's) devastated by the recent hurricanes as well as to bring them up to date with what's happening in Cayman."   The reception was hosted by a long-time friend of Mr. McLaughlin's, the Hon. Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar.
On Monday Premier McLaughlin, Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister for Financial Services and Home Affairs along with Councillor Austin Harris met Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs where the Premier presented Mr. Johnson with a gift from the Cayman Islands.  Mr. McLaughlin said, "Whilst Mr. Johnson had seen first-hand much of the devastation caused by the recent hurricanes, I continued to make a case for continued support from the UK."
Prior to the meeting with Mr. Johnson, Mr. McLaughlin and Ms. Rivers met with Sir Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence where humanitarian aid, the need for a coordinated effort on disaster preparedness and recovery for the OT's going forward was again the topic for discussion.
On Monday evening members of the delegation attended the Conservative Party Conference business dinner.  Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond was the key note speaker and the dinner was attended by the majority of the UK Government's Cabinet Ministers as well as key UK business leaders.
Mr. McLaughlin took the opportunity to speak with Hon. Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development.  Mr. McLaughlin continued to lobby for financial support for the OT's impacted by these two major storms, again stating that the Cayman Islands had been quickly able to offer humanitarian aid as Cayman had not been affected.
For the final leg of the mission the group travelled down to London.
Ms. Rivers met with City UK, a group which promotes policies that drive competitiveness, support job creation and ensure long-term economic growth in the UK.  She also attended the 100 Women in Finance Breakfast event at Bloomberg and met with Baroness Evans who currently serves as the Leader of the House of Lords.
Ms. Rivers said "this has been a very successful trip; I had the opportunity to speak with many key influencers to educate them on Cayman's role as a Financial Services Centre and all the work we have been doing around implementing and shaping international transparency standards.   I was fortunate to speak at the British Overseas Territories (BOT's) reception in Manchester about the inter-connectedness between the UK and the Cayman Islands, as well as the humanitarian relief we've been providing to those affected by the recent storms.  This was very well received by everyone in attendance."  
Councillor Austin Harris also spoke about Cayman at the BOT's reception.
Mr. McLaughlin's and Ms. Rivers final meeting was with Lord Ahmed, the Overseas Territories Minister.  
Mr. McLaughlin said, "I provided a general update on what was happening in the Cayman Islands and we again discussed Caymans' humanitarian assistance efforts to our OT neighbours.  We talked about the need for the UK to commit, not just short term financial help with the devastation, but long term to help their economies get back on their feet."
Lord Ahmed again expressed his thanks, as had everyone the delegation met over the course of the trip, for the assistance that the Government and the people of the Cayman Islands are providing to those islands affected.  He reiterated how grateful the UK government is for the help.
The final event on the itinerary was the Conservatives Abroad dinner which was attended by Mr. McLaughlin, Ms. Rivers and Mr. Harris along with other members of the delegation.  Mr. McLaughlin was a guest of honour and was invited, during dinner, to say a few words about the Cayman Islands.  Sir Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defense was also in attendance as the guest speaker.
Mr. McLaughlin added "Everyone involved agreed that this trip accomplished what we set out to do.  We were able to renew and build relationships with not just senior Civil Servants but also senior members of the UK government and business leaders and to continue to spread the story of Cayman's success.  This is important for us as a country, to ensure the people we meet understand the issues that the Cayman Islands face and the contributions that we make."
 
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