Turks and Caicos Islands

House of Lords written question – answered at on 8 July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Northover on 23 June (WA 136), why they will not place in the Library of the House a document that is freely available to commercial investors.

Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Lords Spokesperson (Women & Equalities), Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development)

The publication of the requested document is a matter for the TCI Government.

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Jerzy Kolodziej
Posted on 9 Jul 2014 5:54 pm (Report this annotation)

The procedure for loan guarantees that has been operated in excess of 100 years is that Crown loan guarantees must be authorized by the commons in the form of a certified bill. The Turks and Caicos Islands loan guarantee amounts to the conversion of a contingent liability to a "real" liability. Explicit authority is required from Parliament in accordance with the provisions of the English Bill of Rights 1689 along with all other such guarantees (with the exception of domestic devolved local government)and established parliamentary procedure. While it may be the case that the actual bond may not be required to be placed in the Library of the House; the provisions of the Crown guarantee must be made available and should have been authorized by an affirmative vote in the commons.

It is difficult to conclude other than that the loan guarantee was outside the powers of the Minister. It is also difficult to see how the loan guarantee could have been compatible with the provisions of section 8 of the West Indies Act 1962 that governs the procedure for "grant" in the event that it appears likely that the TCI could not meet it's administrative expenses.