Former Premier Sir David Gibbons on Friday dismissed Bermuda's CARICOM membership as irrelevant to the economy. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Former Premier Sir David Gibbons on Friday dismissed Bermuda's CARICOM membership as irrelevant to the economy. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, JUNE 24: Former Premier Sir David Gibbons has dismissed the island’s associate CARICOM membership as largely irrelevant to the economy.

Sir David said: “We have very little interaction other than bringing rum from Barbados and Jamaica – that’s about it.

“There’s no other trade, as it were. All of our trade is with the US, Canada, Britain, China and Europe.”

Sir David was speaking in an interview with the Caribbean Journal.

He said that Bermuda’s reinsurance business was “very healthy” although he said there had been “a bit of movement abroad” because of the cost of doing business on the island.

But Sir David added that tourism – once the island’s biggest earner – had been in decline for years and many hotels had shut down.

And he said that Bermuda would not opt for independence because of the advantages to the island.

Sir David added: “You have completely free coverage as far as defence is concerned, as far as the British government.

“We have no international defence cost – we have no cost representing Bermuda. We are represented by Bermuda in the UN and we don’t need consulates in various countries.”

The one-time UBP Premier and Finance Minister described the PLP government as “simply not competent” and accused it of failing to develop tourism.

Sir David said: “They’ve run up a huge national debt. In my day, we balanced budgets – 11 in a row. We paid the national debt and owed nothing. Now they owe the best part of a billion dollars.”