Royal conclusion to Tristan’s London talks
Report and photos from Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Carnegy
King Charles provided a very special moment as the events surrounding the Joint Ministerial Council drew to a close on 15th November 2023.
HM King Charles III with UK Overseas Territories leaders and delegates at a reception
he hosted which was held at Buckingham Palace on 15th November 2023.
Governor Nigel Phillips is second and Chris Carnegy fourth from the left of the group.
He hosted an intimate reception for the London JMC delegates at Buckingham Palace. Leaders, Representatives and Governors were all able to discuss their Territories with him at some length. His Majesty takes a keen interest in the OTs. He is enthusiastic about marine conservation and the ecosystem benefits of Tristan’s MPZ, is concerned about IUU fishing, and is personally interested in the coins and stamps that are issued by the Territories.
We then dined in the sumptuous Commons Speaker’s House back at Westminster. Sir Lindsay Hoyle spoke warmly of his devotion to the worldwide ‘British family’.
The night brought-down the curtain on the JMC in style, but the day had also been a busy one, with appearances before two influential Select Committees of the House of Commons.
Chief Islander James Glass had previously submitted written evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. At their meeting I explained the basics of Tristan’s constitution, listed some benefits Tristan and the UK each gain from our connection, and mentioned the island’s ambition for greater recognition of its own status.
The Foreign Affairs Committee was announcing the creation of a new sub-committee to focus on how the UK deals with OTs. They asked which departments they should monitor, and I offered some suggestions based on Tristan’s key areas of interest.
The events of 15th November were a satisfying conclusion to a busy few days that had been months in the making. Tristan played a leading role in helping negotiate the proposed Declaration that will set the tone for future relations with the UK, and our meetings with key politicians from all sides of the Commons meant we could put the island’s issues firmly in the spotlight.