CMC – Government senate leader in Bermuda, Owen Darrell, has promised to give details of a visit to Bermuda last October by Bahamian Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis after the opposition asked if the hosts had incurred any costs.
Davis went to Bermuda as the guest of the ruling Progressive Labour Party, and spoke at the party’s annual delegates conference, telling Bermudians they had nothing to fear from becoming an independent nation.
Darrell, who is also the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, fielded questions from opposition senator Douglas DeCouto, who asked whether the island had incurred “any costs by government protocol officers or things like that in conjunction with his visit”.
Darrell said the question would take technical officers more time than was allocated for the debate – but told the Senate “it will be addressed”.
He added: “Maybe not in this forum, but in another forum.”
DeCouto, speaking in the Upper House, also asked whether the government considered Davis’ trip to the island an official visit.
Darrell said the questions would be answered “with entirety”.
Questioned at home on the financing of the visit, a spokeswoman for Davis, who has been prime minister since 2021, said last October that the trip was paid for by the ruling Progressive Liberal Party.
Davis was accompanied by several ministers, who discussed topics with local officials including transport, affordable housing and climate change.
Davis said he was keen to forge closer ties with Bermuda in an attempt to boost the economies of both islands. Like Bermuda, international business and tourism are the main sources of revenue for the Bahamas.
Asked by the Royal Gazette newspaper what his message was to independence doubters here, Davis said: “There’s nothing to fear.
“Bermuda would still be part of a larger world. They will not be alone – they will still have friends and the whole world they can depend on because no country can go it alone in the world today. Even if they have independence, they still have the support of the world community.“
The Bahamas (population 410,00) will celebrate 50 years of independence from Britain this year.
But there has been no thirst for independence in Bermuda, an Overseas Territory with a population of around 64,000, since almost three-quarters of voters sided with the status quo and rejected cutting ties with Britain in a 1995 referendum promulgated by the now defunct United Bermuda Party.