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Premier Farrell-Led Delegation Postpones UK Trip

Premier Joseph Farrell, who was to leave the island today along with a delegation to the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) in London, has postponed the trip.

The premier had intended to utilise the JMC to build important links with the new UK Government as well as champion the continuing need for financial and technical assistance in critical sectors and industries.

In recent weeks, government officials have expressed serious concern about the loss of 20% of their financial aid due to this year’s drop in the pound.

No new date has been set for the visit which was to participate in the annual meeting of British Overseas Territories officials with United Kingdom ministers.

In a release from the Office of the Premier, the decision to postpone was due to the cancellation of JMC as no new Minister for the Overseas Territories has been announced with the appointment of a new UK prime minister last week.

The release said that the premier “believes that travelling to the United Kingdom would not be in the best interest of Montserrat at this time.”

Farrell was to have been accompanied by Deputy Premier Dr. Samuel Joseph, Financial Secretary Lindorna Lambert. Governor Sarah Tucker, who was also to participate in meetings, is already in the UK.

The JMC constitutes the principal forum for political dialogue and consultation between the UK and OTs and takes place every year in London.  Accordingly, Premier Farrell had a full programme of events lined up including the JMC itself, several bilateral meetings with the Minister for the Overseas Territories and FCDO Officials; two Town Hall Meetings with Montserratians living in England, as well as additional engagements with fellow OT Leaders and members of the diaspora, the release stated.