The following statement was released today (Nov 8) by Opposition Leader Cole Simons – One Bermuda Alliance…

The Premier and the Progressive Labor Party Government has once again placed the topic of independence on the parliamentary agenda. They have sanctioned and produced a report entitled “Assessment of Self Governance Sufficiency in conformity with internationally recognized standards”.  

The country begs the question- why now Mr Premier?  

Why now when Bermudian families are trying to figure out how they are going to eat and pay bills and are concerned about their future?  

Why now when our young people are moving to the United Kingdom in droves?  

Why now when more and more of our young and seasoned residents are securing UK passports?  

Why now when are our young people are getting home fees when attending UK universities?  

Why now when the road to independence will bring with it a financial burden which Bermudians can ill afford.  

Why now when Bermuda’s debt is approaching $4 Billion dollars and is still growing?  

Why now when Bermuda had to depend on the United Kingdom, to provide Covid 19 Vaccines and PPEs?  

Why now when the road to independence may provide market anxiety within the local and international business sectors?  

The answer to these questions is clearly that this is Premier David Burt at his best when it comes to promoting his own agenda. Instead of conducting an open and transparent referendum on independence to hear from the people of Bermuda about this critical topic, -bang he drops this assessment of Self Governance Sufficiency report on Bermuda when it is completed.  

Is he trying to contain a certain wing of his party? Is there no bipartisanship?  

Quite recently, Premier Burt said: “If we are going to have a serious conversation in this country, as all Overseas Territories are having, as the UK government asks territories to look at their constitutional arrangements. … it makes sense to have a comprehensive report that can be shared so that persons can actually know, understand, discuss, what self-governance means.”  

The Premier admitted that he has not fully read the document himself, yet he is promoting its content?  

Furthermore, since when does Premier Burt listen to and adopt the UK Governments recommendations? In fact, in the past he has been defiant when it comes to the UK Government. Look at the showdowns regarding the recent cannabis legislation and marriage equality legislation.  

If the Premier is to gain the full trust of Bermuda, he ought to be very clear and transparent on this matter. He must not get ahead of the people of Bermuda.  

To raise independence now is yet another stark reminder that Premier Burt and his Government are insensitive to the economic challenges faced by most of Bermuda’s families and businesses. 

The PLP has utterly lost touch with the people of this island.  

Independence will not help our people who are truly in need, economically and socially.  

In fact, it will only add to the stresses of Bermuda’s cost of living crisis and our current financial woes.