PLP quashes rumours on independence

  • Jamahl Simmons, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, said independence is not on the platform (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

Speculation that the Bermuda Government was considering independence has been dismissed.

“The position is this; it was not in our platform, we have not discussed it,” Jamahl Simmons, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, said yesterday.

Mr Simmons was speaking after a question on the subject was asked by Grainne Richmond, moderator for the opening panel of the Bermuda Captive Conference at the Fairmont Southampton.

Mr Simmons said: “I was asked this question earlier this month, and I had to be reminded that as a minister you can’t have a personal opinion any more — you have a government position.

“The mandate that we operate under, and I’ve mentioned it to several stakeholders, is no surprises.

“Business does not like surprises, and as much as possible we want to have collaborative dialogue together going forward and not learn about government policy on the front page of the Gazette.”

The issue was front page news a week ago after Jason Hayward, a government senator and president of the Bermuda Public Services Union, said independence should be viewed as a viable option.

He made his remarks to crowds at a Labour Day event on September 4.

Yesterday, in stating the Government’s position before delegates at the multi-day captive insurance conference, Mr Simmons added: “It is critical to us that we project stability and that we work with each other.”

He added that if independence ever became a necessity, it was “something that we would have to work on together”.