I sincerely hope that the UK government does supply all the assistance required to these places, as they will also do to those other places without such support. But I make the point that if we are to honour our responsibilities, then so should they. The British Caribbean tax havens can only exist because of the guarantee that the UK supplies, the legal system that the UK supplies and the regulation that we support. There is a cost to that. We will bear ours, but it’s not unreasonable to expect that those places who need us to do so respond in kind. That means they deliver accounts on public record, registers of beneficial ownership of companies and trusts for all to inspect and new regimes of transparency in all that they do.
And for those who think this isn’t the time to ask I would point out that even neoliberals think that the role of government is to act as a back stop. When the governments of the UK’s Caribbean tax havens rely on us to take that role then now is precisely the time to remind them of their reciprocal responsibilities, whilst continuing to supply all the support that is needed.
The two islands which have been devastated are Barbuda, which is a fully independent member of the Commonwealth as part of the sovereign state of Antigua and Barbuda, and St Martin, which is a French/Dutch condominium of some sort.
In what way are these UK Caribbean tax havens?