Leading the debates, MP Alicia A. Kearns, Representative for Rutland and Melton, in an opening speech pointed out that while all OTs enjoy the right to self-determination as assured by the United Nations, deciding on having a constitutional relationship with the UK does not diminish their right to self-determination.
She added that the UK still has a role to play in supporting self-determination; therefore, OTs should be given to opportunity to have more voice when engaging with the UK.
“Now, whilst Overseas Territories choose to remain part of our global family, that does not mean that we should blindly accept the status quo. We should challenge ourselves to provide the best possible support to their individual hopes and needs and strive to support them.
“To achieve this, we should embed engagement government across government directly with Overseas Territories. Rather than relying on all manners of priorities to be dealt with through the Foreign Office as some sort of arbiter, there is widespread frustration about just how difficult it is to engage in the most basic of dialogue with government departments.”