KINGSTON: Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller says Jamaica is committed to replacing Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and would not be deterred by recent statements made by a British politician.
“We have got to a stage and a level of our country’s development and independence, having celebrated 50 years of Independence, it is with Jamaicans to take the decision,” said Simpson-Miller. “The Queen is a wonderful, beautiful lady. I have every love and respect for her and I think I am her number one fan, but the decision to replace her lies with us here in Jamaica.”
The ruling People’s National Party (PNP) wants Jamaica to adopt a republican status. However, Shaun Bailey, special advisor to British Prime Minister, David Cameron, urged Jamaica to consider the ramifications of abolishing the Queen as Jamaica’s head of state.
Bailey, who ran unsuccessfully for a parliamentary seat in Britain’s 2007 general election, said such a move could have negative consequences for Jamaica.
“I would say Jamaica should be careful about doing that (disbanding the Queen),” said Bailey. “It gives Jamaica access to a broader world market, a broader world community, and Jamaica is a small place that could be powerful, but not on its own. It needs to be in that. The reason that Britain keeps it going from its side is that Britain can see the benefit in being in that community and I would argue that Jamaica would feel the benefits of it as well.”