Trinidad and Tobago represented at ‘Windrush’ meetings
Trinidad and Tobago participated in two important engagements in London, United Kingdom which treated in the main on a particular matter involving our diaspora in that country over the past two days. These focused on matters concerning the “Windrush Generation” – persons from the Caribbean who migrated to the UK prior to 1973 and remained without the requisite documentation relative to their immigration status in the United Kingdom. Over the years, changes to UK laws resulted in harsh implications for such persons and presented challenges such as the denial of access to the National Health Service, erosion of pension rights and possible deportation from the UK.
Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs accompanied by His Excellency Orville London, Trinidad and Tobago’s High Commissioner to the UK represented Trinidad and Tobago at a meeting with Lord Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK and The Rt Hon Caroline Nokes, Minister of State for Immigration at the Home Office, UK on 16 April 2018. The second meeting on 17 April 2018 saw Heads of Government and representatives of CARICOM Member States, Prime Minister Theresa May of the UK and Minister Nokes focusing once more on the said issue. Other matters of concern to CARICOM States including correspondent banking, derisking, climate change and access to overseas development financing were raised during the encounter.
In the prevailing circumstances, Prime Minister May apologized for the challenges and inconvenience faced by those affected and reiterated appreciation for the value of the contribution made by the “Windrush generation”. Measures instituted and decisions taken to treat with the problem by the Government of the UK were shared with participants at the meeting. She assured that the Government of the UK would put measures in place to give eligible persons certainty regarding their right to live in the UK.
The Caribbean leaders commended Prime Minister May for her stance and commitment to a quick and effective resolution to a situation which created stress and confusion for many persons from the Caribbean who were invited to the United Kingdom and have contributed to the development of the country. Leaders from the Caribbean urged Prime Minister May to institute a robust process that would guarantee the welfare of the affected persons.