The Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo recently met with UK Government officials in London to discuss the proposed Capital Programme for Montserrat along with other related matters.
According to a release from the Office of the Premier, “Premier Romeo first met with FCO Minister for the Overseas Territories, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, who, during his visit to Montserrat in May of this year, became even more aware of the considerable trade and investment potential in Montserrat and the need for a strengthened partnership.
“It was against this backdrop that the Premier was assured that the FCO and DfID would collaborate with the Government of Montserrat (GOM) to produce a Montserrat Capital Programme that is fit for purpose, and would support critical investment in key infrastructure and transformative projects over the next five to ten years.
The premier also took the opportunity while there to network with other UK Parliamentarians who have been long-time supporters of Montserrat. In providing them with an update on the state of affairs in the island, Premier Romeo was careful to reiterate the challenges being faced in securing adequate support for the territory.
During separate discussions with both Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE and Honourable Andrew Rosindell, each offered to arrange high level meetings with Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) and Premier Romeo, to help secure the right deal for Montserrat which will in turn help to get the territory out of dependency on British taxpayers money.
Baroness Benjamin urged the Premier to keep her abreast of ongoing activities and confirmed her continued support for the country and people of Montserrat.
Rosindell, a Conservative MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Montserrat, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for 13 UK Territories, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and longtime advocate and friend of Montserrat, is familiar with Montserrat’s unique challenges and continues to support the need for urgent investment in essential and transformational infrastructure over the medium to long term.
Rosindell also agreed to support Premier Romeo’s suggestion that June 25th be commemorated annually, not only in Montserrat, but also in the UK and across the Diaspora, in thanksgiving for God’s goodness, and in remembrance of those who died in Montserrat on 25th June 1997, and the many evacuees who have since died in involuntary exile overseas, mainly in the UK, without realizing their hope of returning to live in their homeland.
The Hon. Premier was also advised that GOM can expect to hear more questions being asked of the FCO and DfID by Hon. Rosindell and other UK Parliamentarians in relation to Montserrat.
Premier Romeo ended his visit with a number of important meetings with potential investors regarding opportunities in Montserrat. No further details on the proposed capital programme for the island was given.