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Volume 983: debated on Wednesday 23 April 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on progress towards the separation of Anguilla from the Associated State of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla following the recent visit to the United Kingdom of the Chief Minister of Anguilla.

The new Government in St. Kitts-Nevis, which came to office after the general election there on 18 February, have stated that they regret that they are unable, at this time, to pass the necessary resolution in the State's Legislature to facilitate Anguillan separation, as their predecessors had agreed to do and as I reported to the House on 20 December 1979.—[Vol. 976, c. 321.] It has accordingly been agreed with the St. Kitts-Nevis Government that Her Majesty's Government should take steps unilaterally to bring about formal Anguillan separation. To this end an appropriate Bill will be introduced as soon as possible. During talks at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 17 April, the Chief Minister of Anguilla welcomed this decision but pressed for action to effect separation immediately. I had to explain that because the current Parliamentary programme is fully committed the Bill could not be introduced until early in the next Session.