Brighton, United Kingdom – The Cayman Islands Representative to the UK and Europe André Ebanks attended the Labour Party Conference in Brighton this week accompanied by Jude Scott, Chief Executive Officer of Cayman Finance and a team from the Government Office in London.
This is the first year that the Cayman Islands Government has participated directly in the conference by organising a fringe event to discuss the Cayman Islands with the Labour Party. Moderated by Prospect Magazine, the event involved a chaired discussion between Catherine West MP and Mr Scott, discussing methods of taxation including the responsible tax neutral regime in the Cayman Islands.
Events, engagement and attendance at party conferences form part of the ongoing political engagement efforts by the Cayman Islands Government to interact with as many British parliamentarians as possible in order to create and maintain positive working relationships and are intended to better inform parliamentarians and UK Public of Cayman's history, heritage, culture, financial services, successful conservation work, healthcare and as a thriving British Overseas Territory.
Mr Scott utilised the opportunity to share with the audience of interested Labour supporters and media the facts about tax neutrality. Mr Scott was also able to clarify details about Cayman's process for verifying and sharing ownership information versus self-reporting public registers. Both the Labour MP and Mr Scott welcomed the opportunity to discuss and engage on these topics.
Mr Scott commented: "I was very pleased that the Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK presented the opportunity to engage with such a well-respected MP in this forum, a lot of good even-handed dialogue and discussion took place today. We were able to reinforce the great track record and the benefits of our tax neutral regime globally to a traditionally doubtful audience. The conversation today was balanced and informed, and I was pleased to be able to neutralise some of the historic scepticism. We are sending a strong positive message that we are available and willing to continue to engage and be a part of this conversation."
At the conference Mr Ebanks also met with Gibraltar and Falkland Islands Representatives and discussed mental health issues with Mental Health First Aid England. In addition, Mr Ebanks met Jonathan Reynolds MP, Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury.
Mr Ebanks commented "My first month in the post is off to a spirited start. Attendance at the Labour party conference has been invaluable this year, combined with our first ever fringe event in conjunction with Cayman Finance, we are ensuring that we have a much greater presence and are at the forefront of political discussions concerning our financial services. We are delighted to have had the support from Cayman Finance and that Catherine West MP was willing to engage and discuss these important topics in a constructive and open manner. We very much look forward to further types of engagement like this to continue this conversation."
Mr Ebanks went on to say, "it has been a very busy month so far, including strategy meetings with my team, meetings with The High Commission of Bahamas regarding hurricane relief, meeting and briefing Cayman Islands Councillor David Wight and engaging with various public and private sector stakeholders. I am looking forward to continuing this level of productivity for the Cayman Islands in the UK and Europe."