Fresh look at independence called for by PLP

Progressive Labour Party backbenchers have called for a fresh discussion on independence.

Walton Brown said the need for a debate had become more important because the British Government had forced social and financial policies on Bermuda.

He told the House of Assembly last Friday: “Since 1999, we have had the UK Government devolving power back to itself and we have had a series of challenges in that regard.

“We have the UK Government putting pressure on us to do things in our social policies that we have resisted, we have had pressure in terms of financial disclosure that we are resisting and need to continue to resist.”

Mr Brown said: “We have to fight this onslaught of the UK Government as much as we can. It is untoward, it is inappropriate and it is highly offensive and we need to come together to address this issue.”

He added: “I know there is a lot of fear out there just to raise the topic itself, but we should have no fear of such an important issue.

“We should take the bull by the horns and address the issue forthrightly.”

Backbench colleague Rolfe Commissiong backed Mr Brown’s views and said the subject of independence was far from dead.

Mr Commissiong added: “In many ways it’s maybe even more relevant now for due consideration than it has been for the last one or two decades.

“It may indeed be time for that topic to come back upon the national stage for a new generation to join us old folks in examining the issue.”

Mr Commissiong added independence would create a “truly national identity” and “real citizenship” for Bermuda.