Antigua and Barbuda will not participate in the Full Free Movement of Caricom Nationals

Antigua and Barbuda is providing further information concerning why the country will reportedly not be participating in the full free movement of all CARICOM nationals by March 31.

The government contends that full free movement is too much for the country at this point in time.

CARICOM’s Ambassador, Dr Clarence Henry, stated that the government is concerned that if Antigua and Barbuda were to allow the unrestricted flow of CARICOM nationals into the country, it would imperil social services and other aspects of life in the country.

He went on to say that the country has a record of welcoming CARICOM nationals; however, it cannot take the additional step for now.

“Sending states do not want to provide any sort of assistance to any place like Antigua and Barbuda remember we do not have gold, silver, bauxite, oil we do not have it,” he said.

The government wants to maintain the current status quo where skilled nationals are allowed to live and work freely. The arrangement where other CARICOM nationals can obtain a six-month stay once they meet the requirements will also remain.

CARICOM Heads will be meeting again on March 15, and a decision will be made on the policy towards the entire free movement of CARICOM nationals.

“We are optimistic that the heads would accept Antigua and Barbuda’s request and pleadings concerning utilizing the skills regime to maintain it in its current status. So, we anticipate that those going the route of full free movement will adopt and maintain the skills regime,” Henry said.

Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, has expressed its interest in becoming a full member of CARICOM, a regional integration movement.

However, the country has clarified that it will not be a part of the region’s initiative to allow the free movement of nationals across member states, effective from March 31, 2021.

Bermuda’s Premier David Burt, who recently attended the 46th Regular Summit of Regional Leaders in Guyana, has confirmed that full membership does not imply freedom of movement for citizens of other member states to Bermuda.

He also stated that many full members of CARICOM do not participate in freedom of movement.

The free movement of nationals is a part of CARICOM’s Single Market and Economy (CSME), which allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour, and services across the Community.

Bermuda’s decision to not participate in the free movement initiative is purportedly due to the country’s small size, maintaining that on the issue of open borders specific agreements, negotiations, and protocols are required for such a move.

It is worth noting that the Free Movement of Skills/Labour allows CARICOM nationals to seek work and/or engage in gainful employment in all CARICOM member states, except for The Bahamas, Montserrat, and Haiti, without the requirement of a work permit.

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  1. Dr Prince
    March 8, 2024

    if places like European Union and United States can integrate into one entity, then i don’t see what nonsense these ppl are talking about, cos those places are places that A&B citizens and co would call developed nations and that was achieved by integration. What they should talk about is more like a unified minimum wage and standard of living among each members of the caricom and hence quality of life will be close to same in all the region.

  2. Victor Moreno
    March 7, 2024


  3. Partice
    March 7, 2024

    Some of you Caribbean members of state think you’re better than others… You look down on countries such as Jamaica 🇯🇲 but hope in times of needs especially in natural disaster you keep the same energy..but most likely the same “Jamaican criminals” gonna organise a food drive or any form of help aid to assist y’all… And if any of you guys had come to Jamaica our people would’ve welcomed y’all with open arms but!!! every dog have dem 4 o’clock

  4. Evan
    March 7, 2024

    I wish St. Kitts and Nevis would also take a strong stand against freedom of movement at this time. Perhaps a more experienced leader would. Kudos to PM Gaston Brown for his leadership and foresight!

  5. Steve Khan
    March 7, 2024

    The PM of Aand B has some genuine concerns here so if they implement a controlled plan that limits the amount from other Caricom states entering there to work and see the impact in say 6 months , they would be better able to judge the full impact on their country.

  6. R Skeete
    March 7, 2024

    Want to be Hitler can certainly keep his country and l certainly hope that Antiguans do not want to live in other Caribbean countries

  7. Islandgirl
    March 7, 2024

    Let me get this straight, people are what drive economy i.e. more economic development because there is a market for it. So while other countries use immigrants to bolster their economy, countries in the Caribbean are worried that “criminals from Jamaica” will come to their countries. An ignorant statement like that is exactly why your country has remained small with a stagnant economy.
    if the CSME is functional and all countries are participating, it means free movement for all. So what is to stop the person from the Leeward Islands,who is a great DJ, from tapping those markets in Jamaica where there’s a party or two every single night of the weak everywhere in the country? What’s to stop the person from Antigua who is awesome in bead work and design to go to Trinidad in carnival season to sell their costumes. What’s to stop the people from the smaller less popular countries from taking their skills and talents to take advantage of the tourism industry in the larger countries?

  8. Haskell Murray
    March 6, 2024

    Prime Minister Brown is a hypocrite when he was campaigning to get a campus of the university of the west indies in Antigua he used the caricom unity card now he is only half caricom unity.This is the legacy of colonialism.

  9. En Ba La
    March 6, 2024

    Dominica is a fully sovereign state and I firmly believe that CARICOM is not a united anything. In the world of politics today – how were are our systems of government and level of independence – with global powers at play and their involvement in one way or another – I can see why CARICOM is NOT A THING.,

    Today CARICOM is having other nations like the United States and Bahamas – Great Britain head of state King -determine the fate of its sister island Haiti.

    • Eric
      March 7, 2024

      *The Bahamas

  10. Shans
    March 6, 2024

    This is one of the reasons why in the caribbean regional integration face so many challenges. Countries are loyal only to their territories forgetting that we are one.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
  11. Koukou-manyok
    March 6, 2024

    I clearly see that leaders are still focusing on any negative implications the new signed treaty “might” have on welcoming states. Instead, look on the bright side. More people mean ideas brining more business, hence more thriving economies. People define economies. Jamaica’s currency might be amongst the region’s lowest, but by no means the weakest economies! Unlike other countries, they have PEOPLE who can work, therefore contribute. Open those “flood gates” to our wonderful Caribbean people and watch us as we rise.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  12. Shaka Zulu
    March 6, 2024

    This is why caricom is a waste of time. when people like Brown go sit in a meeting knock fist, drink wine, eat his belly and before his plane land back Antigua he is like F that sh…..t. we need visionary Caribbean leadership not the current political prostitution we have going on.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  13. Ibo France
    March 5, 2024

    For the first time I agree with PM Gaston Browne. Why the leaders of the smallest economies in the Caribbean could agree to this Full Free Movement of Caribbean Nationals? This agreement has very serious ramifications and consequences for most of these tiny countries with fragile economies.

    Migration among the CARICOM countries move mostly in one direction – from the larger countries to the smaller ones. How many citizens of the Leeward and Windward Islands migrate to Jamaica, T&T, Guyana and Barbados? Not many as their economies are too weak even to accommodate their own people.

    To be brutally frank, Jamaica and others export many of their criminals to these smaller countries. There is most likely to be an escalation in criminal activity and unemployment throughout the sub-Caribbean.

    Mia Motley and the leaders of the larger Caribbean countries are euphoric over the advantages to be gained for them from this misguided agreement.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12
      March 7, 2024

      Most Jamaicans go to First world countries… plus if a country chose when CARICOM is beneficial to them they should leave the organisation entirely… Ps. Jamaicans are hardworking individuals…

    March 5, 2024

    So you see all countries have an interest to protect their people and their territorial sovereignty. But all these politicians are huge hypocrites because they will criticize a leader like Trump for wanting to enforce a secure border or limit immigration, but here they are doing the same thing despite the fact that they are part of an organization that upholds the free movement of people between participating states

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  15. Rodney Walters
    March 5, 2024

    i agree with you antigua barbuda.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6
    • Maxine griffiths
      March 8, 2024

      I know the lord is coming and he wants to saved the whole wide world and we are his people and coming together we have to pray and ask God for his understanding been to other countries it’s beautiful to meet others and to work and worship God loves each other and live laugh and enjoy until the lord returns

  16. March 5, 2024

    Bermuda just stay out, you can’t want to come in with conditions. Antigua can express its concern as it has been a member since 1974.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5
    • Ibo France
      March 6, 2024

      Point you are POINTLESS as usual. Not every member adheres to the herd mentality. When you are insightful and you realise that some policies would be disastrous for your country, you refrain from implementing. That’s the smart thing to do.

  17. dissident
    March 5, 2024

    That argument could be made by other Caricom states
    that aspect of de CSME will not materialize like de vision that is portrayed.

  18. Zandoli
    March 5, 2024

    I am not sure what these countries are afraid of. somehow they think once they open their borders, they will be flooded with foreigners. Some people will move, but it will definitely not amount to a flood.
    By that logic, states like Louisiana and Mississippi would be empty. Of we really want to be one Caribbean people we have to open the borders for all Caribbean people to live and work.
    As a side note, the governments also need to eliminate all those fees and taxes on regional travel to allow people the ability to move freely.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3
    • Putin
      March 6, 2024

      “I am not sure what these countries are afraid of. somehow they think once they open their borders, they will be flooded with foreigners. Some people will move, but it will definitely not amount to a flood.”

      Well said.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • Let's Face It
        March 7, 2024

        Oh it will dude. But that will mean change, and change will come. We have the space, new ideas will boost the economy.

  19. We the People
    March 5, 2024

    “Sending states do not want to provide any sort of assistance to any place like Antigua and Barbuda remember we do not have gold, silver, bauxite, oil we do not have it,” he said.


    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

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