Turks and Caicos Islands

House of Lords written question – answered at on 21 July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there are any proposals to give debt relief to the Turks and Caicos Islands; and if not, why not.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

There are no proposals for the UK to give debt relief to the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are not in receipt of a loan from the British Government. In 2011, the UK provided a loan guarantee worth up to $260 million in response to the Territory’s governance and economic crisis. The British Government expects the Turks and Caicos Islands government to finance its borrowing independently and on an affordable and sustainable basis from the end of 2015/16 without a UK guarantee.

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Jerzy Kolodziej
Posted on 24 Jul 2014 12:22 pm (Report this annotation)

Baroness Warsi's answer does not sit well with the contents of a leaked memo from the FCO that was published some time ago with reference to the loan guarantee. The Deputy Director of the OT's stated "It is not realistic for TCIG to comply with the FCO’s borrowing limits by the end of the fiscal year 2015/16"

There is nothing to suggest that either the FCO, DFID or TCIG do not still hold this view. Indeed, the debt repayment schedule and the consequential determination of the loan guarantee is generally considered to be unrealistic. Therefore, the answer to Lord Ashcroft's question seems to fall short of fully answering the question and neglects to outline the real and present danger that the guarantee may yet be exercised.

On this basis it appears likely that the administration will not be able to meet it's administrative expenses and the provisions of s. 8 of the West Indies Act 1962 must be reconsidered by the Secretary of State.