UK officials in talks for support of recovery and development of overseas territories

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L-R: Cambridge policy fellow Benito Wheatley and OTD Director at FCO, Ben Merrick

LONDON, England — Benito Wheatley, Policy Fellow at the University of Cambridge and the British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) former UK representative, paid a courtesy call on Ben Merrick, director of the overseas territories (OTs) Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in early March.

Among other things, they discussed the UK government’s support for the OTs and the recovery of the Caribbean territories affected by the 2017 hurricanes.
Commenting on the exchange, Wheatley said:

“it is welcome that the UK government remains committed to the recovery of the Caribbean OTs, including the BVI as the hardest hit among the islands, and is keen to support the Overseas Territories more generally in building climate resilience and seizing opportunities in international trade.

He continued, “The renewed commitment by the UK to assist the OTs across UK government departments was a positive signal.”

In regard to the UK-OT relationship, Wheatley further commented: “The UK government’s 2012 White Paper on the overseas territories is the UK’s official policy framework for UK/OT relations that sets out a modern partnership based on mutual responsibilities and mutual respect. It is in good keeping for the UK to adhere to the White Paper policy as intended and for the OTs and UK to engage as partners.”

The former BVI UK representative also praised the ongoing partnership between the UK and OTs in the area of disaster preparedness and commended the UK’s readiness to meet its obligations to the territories in the event of a disaster.

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