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Derogation Sought in Recent Extension of Skilled Workers List

Thursday 13th December, 2018-Antigua and Barbuda has asked CARICOM for a delay in implementing a recent agreement where an extension has been made to the categories of skilled workers within the region.

Beauticians, barbers, security officers and agricultural workers were added to the list when heads of governments met in Trinidad last month earlier this month. Once implemented, those categories of workers will be able to move within the Caribbean Community space and seek employment, without having to apply for a work permit.

But Antigua and Barbuda’s position is, it has always had an open door policy as it relates to the free movement of people. Taking into consideration the large number of CARICOM nationals residing here, government is not opened to this latest decision and through Foreign Affairs Minister E. P Chet Greene has asked for a derogation of the agreement reached in Port-of-Spain.

Cabinet spokesman Ambassador Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst says he is unsure how much longer Antigua and Barbuda will be able to request derogation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Greene has advised the CARICOM rules may not permit any further derogation, compelling Antigua and Barbuda to become a recipient.

Ambassador Hurst told reporters the tide may be turning in the free movement of skilled nationals within the region, highlighting one country that may soon see an influx of people.

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