Although it will take time for the full impact of Hurricane Irma to become apparent, it is clear that it will create significant damage in the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, The British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands . It has already done that on Antigua and Barbuda and may also do so to The Bahamas, both of which are Commonwealth states to which the UK has at least a moral obligation.
There is also risk to Bermuda and St Kitts and Nevis, which are also British Overseas Territories. It is thought that well over half of all buildings in Barbuda have been subject to substantial hurricane inflicted damage.
It is beholden on the UK to provide all aid necessary to restore normal life in its Overseas Territories, without delay. There are good reasons for suggesting that it should provide similar assistance to affected Commonwealth States. That said, there is no reason why this support should be supplied unconditionally.
All the places mentioned are secrecy jurisdictions (tax havens) as indicated by the Tax Justice Network’s influential Financial Secrecy Index . What this means is that these places, without exception, have deliberately created regulation for the primary benefit and use of people who are not resident in those islands, and knowing that that regulation in question will be used to undermine the legislation or regulation of another jurisdiction.
All of those places mentioned are actually less of a secrecy jurisdiction than the UK by that very Financial Secrecy Index. So, what should we do to such naughty boys?
Unless the governments in question agree to take these actions and supply an action plan for their delivery, the UK government should only provide emergency aid to the islands whose officials do not cooperate.
It is entirely appropriate that local populations should not suffer as a result of immediate circumstances that are beyond their control that Hurricane Irma has created. It is, however, in turn beholden upon those seeking assistance to ensure that their politicians now take appropriate steps to ensure that these islands become responsible members of the international community, which has not been the case to date. In that way they can reciprocate the support that they will now be given.
So, what……we should only provide emergency aid in the UK to our own people because the UK is a worse secrecy jurisdiction than they are? Perhaps it’s that the EU shouldn’t spend anything here because we’re such naughty boys?
Or, you know, maybe the Senior Lecturer at Islington Technical College doesn’t think through what he writes and therefore should be variously ignored or mocked?