ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- The premier of Montserrat, Reuben Meade, announced at the meeting of heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in St John’s, Antigua, that Montserrat intends to accede to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and to participate in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Montserrat Premier Reuben Meade signs CROSQ agreement
“We are fully competent to do so on entrustments received from our main sponsor the United Kingdom government for our continued full participation in the regional integration movement,” Meade said.
He also pointed out that, as at January 1 of this year, a new directive was issued by the European Union, which is equivalent to the CARICOM-EPA and creates an opportunity now for the French and Dutch Departments in the Caribbean to also join in the regional integration movement.
“We in Montserrat are clearly ahead in this team effort and it’s strengthening by actions from our internal and external partners, including the private sector globally is encouraging,” he said.
Meade added that Montserrat continues to view the regional integration movement as presenting an overarching economic platform that can be beneficial to its people.
“It provides space for employment creation and extending opportunity for joint ventures and increased functional cooperation among our governments and people,” he said.
“It is our intention therefore to bring the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (CSME) Bill to our parliament for its first reading before September of 2014 and we anticipate the enactment of the Bill by the end of this year 2014,” Meade said.
Montserrat will also proceed to engage with the CCJ and CDF to ensure concurrent accession to these entities, which are inextricably linked to the Revised Treaty.
Montserrat therefore intends to deposit an Instrument of Accession to the Revised Treaty by the next meeting of the heads of government conference.
In order to forestall any legal action that may be taken against Montserrat in relation to its CSME obligations, pending the completion of legislative and administrative arrangements for implementation, Meade invited the conference to:
(i) Approve that Montserrat shall enjoy reasonable timeframes to put in place the institutional arrangements to comply with its Treaty obligations following upon Accession to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas for participation in the CSME;
(ii) That these reasonable time-frames are agreed with and implemented in consultation with the CARICOM Secretariat, particularly the Office of the General Counsel.
The Montserrat premier also signed the agreement establishing the Caribbean Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) of which Montserrat has been up to this point a de facto participating member.
As a founding member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Montserrat has continued to retain full membership of CARICOM and remains an up-to-date subscriber to all of the specialized agencies in the region and the CARICOM Secretariat. Montserrat also participates fully in the Common External Tariff (CET).
“We have legal provisions for the automatic grant of six months stay under the freedom of movement obligations and CARICOM skills certificates are also honoured in Montserrat, but we do not yet have in place the institutional arrangements to issue those certificates,” Meade explained.
Montserrat also issues land holding licences to CARICOM nationals as an administrative procedure in seeking to comply with CARICOM’s right of establishment obligations, and it intends to remove all impediments except for those related to cost recovery; and compliance with the movement of capital obligations is assured within the framework of the East Caribbean Currency Union.