Tristan da Cunha Government News Abroad: Tristan represented at Overseas Territories Brexit talks
Tristan Government UK Adviser Chris Carnegy attends four days of OT's Brexit talks in London.

Tristan represented at Overseas Territories Brexit talks

Overseas Territories EU Brexit Talks 10th-13th July

Report and photos from Chris Carnegy

Monday 10th July

Tristan Government Representative Chris Carnegy was one of the witnesses before the House of Lords Brexit Committee held in the Palace of Westminster. The committee investigated the possible impact of Brexit on the Overseas Territories (OTs). Chris presented Tristan Chief Islander Ian Lavarello's compliments and explained that the extreme remoteness of Tristan meant that he had asked Chris to represent him.

   

Photos show: Left - The Brexit Committee in session on 10th July; Right: Chris Carnegy addressing the commoittee.

In his opening remarks, Chris stressed the importance of European Development Funding, especially infrastructure - whose importance is heightened (and whose cost is too) in small, remote communities. He also underlined the value of Tristan's special access for the lobster into the EU, and the opportunity the island sees for trade with China. Chris also thanked the committee for helping to ensure that OTs are not forgotten.

A question about EU development funding gave many OTs the chance to stress its value. Chris listed Tristan's hopes for EDF11 (inc school, roads) and observed that HMG - under UN obligations - would have to help if EDF support ended. He also suggested that continued UK support for EDF could be a negotiating point in Brexit talks.

A trade question gave the chance for Chris to stress Tristan's ambitions in China.

By a quirk of timing Chris got the last word of the session, and he used a line from Tristan Government UK Adviser Jim Kerr's 's report of February - saying the Prime Minister had assured Tristan she sees OTs as very much part of her vision of 'Britain as a great global nation'. The chair said the committee echoed that sentiment.

To see and hear Chris' statement click on to:
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/4cf6edb8-d6b9-41ad-965f-044f41d9c882

Tuesday 11th July

A pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting was held at Church House, Westminster. Topics included a joint approach to establishing a renewed relationship between UK and OTs after Brexit, the importance of infrastructure (including for access) and the topics to be tackled at the full JMC in November.

Photo shows pre-Joint Ministerial Council in session on 11th July.
Chris Carnegy is seated first left at the main table.

Pre JMC leaders / heads of delegation assembled at Church House on 11th July
Left to Right Leaders of Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Pitcairn (Chaired the meeting), Anguilla,
Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, Falklands, St Helena, Gibraltar, Chris Carnegy representing Tristan, and Bermuda.

Wednesday 12th July

Chris joined other delegates to meet with Brexit minister Robin Walker MP at Lancaster House for the OTs' Joint Ministerial on European Negotiations.

The meeting heard assurances from ministers that OTs' the concerns are being heard in Whitehall. For Tristan that focuses on continued funding for infrastructure, and continued preferential access to the EU market for our lobster.

Chris Carnegy with Bexit Minister Robin Walker MP

Thursday 13th July

Administrator Sean Burns joined Chris Carnegy for a bilateral meeting with Lord Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The meeting provided an opportunity to brief the new Overseas Territories minister on Tristan, the importance of its fishery as moves begin towards its 'Blue Belt' designation, and the special challenges of such a remote location'.

Chris Carnegy with Administrator Sean Burns outside the FCO
prior to their meeting with Lord Ahmad.