Premier Burt Meets UK Overseas Territories Minister Amanda Milling

At the conclusion of the Joint Ministerial Council in London between the UK Government and elected Representatives of the Governments of the Overseas Territories, the Premier of Bermuda, the Hon. E. David Burt, JP, MP, held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of State for the Overseas Territories the Hon. Amanda Milling MP.

Premier Burt said: “This is an important opportunity to raise key issues with the UK Government on behalf of Bermuda.”

On the topic of Covid-19 – “There is no doubt that the tremendous support in vaccine supply from the UK to the Overseas Territories has saved lives – and the Bermuda Government is grateful for the timely continued supply of vaccines. As part of our determination to move beyond the pandemic, there is a need for the UK to clarify the availability and timelines of oral COVID-19 antiviral medicines such as molnupiravir to aid the planning process for the full reopening of Bermuda’s economy.”

BMU Passport Code – After months of advocating for and securing through Government House the return of the BMU Code for Bermuda Passports, the Premier asked for a timeline for the return of the BMU Code for Bermuda passports.

The Premier said: “I am pleased it was agreed that the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office will work with the Home Office to confirm a timeframe for the return of this Code. Like the rest of the world, Bermudians are travelling again and returning home through the United States must be made easier with the return of the BMU Code to our passports.”

Bermuda’s Cannabis Licensing Act – The Premier acknowledged the UK’s position that the current legislation does not conform to the United Kingdoms’ international obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs of 1961.

The Premier noted: “It was critical to make it clear that there is no intention by the Government of Bermuda to amend the current legislation to conform to the sixty-year-old convention that allows cannabis supply for medicinal purposes only.

Many countries, such as Canada, that allow regulated supply of cannabis for non-medicinal purposes, are signatories to that Convention. The overall intent of the legislation is clear, and it enjoys the support of the Bermuda electorate, which was confirmed at the last General Election.

The Government is undeterred in advancing the Bill through the Legislature again this year. Our expectation is that following the passage of the Bill in the House of Assembly, permission will be given by the Foreign Secretary for the Governor to Assent to the legislation.

Through the Home Office, Bermuda and the UK Government have agreed to accelerate discussions at the official level to ensure that the will of the Bermudian electorate as expressed through their democratically elected representatives is respected.”
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