Madeleine Fox: Summer Internship 2019
Pictured: Cabinet Office Interns meet with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon during a work shadow at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in August 2019
Madeleine Fox, Cabinet Office Intern 2019
The three months I spent at the Government of Bermuda London Office as a Cabinet Office Intern gave me invaluable insight into the intricate and highly beneficial relationship between the UK and Bermuda. Working under Ms Kimberley Durrant, the Representative for Bermuda, has allowed fellow intern Ari Minors and myself to gain first-hand knowledge of the nature of a job as a Bermuda civil servant in a foreign jurisdiction, and the challenges that we as a country face at an international level.
My role saw me engaging in issues relating to the policy, diplomacy and consular services aspects of the office, at both a UK and EU level. Ari and I were invited to attend meetings with the UK Overseas Territory Association (UKOTA) and the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), being UK and EU bodies respectively.
We also had the opportunity to spend time in both the Foreign Office and the international law firm of Stikeman and Elliott LLP. At the former we were lucky enough to meet with Lord Ahmad [Minister responsible for the Overseas Territories] and Ben Merrick (Director of the Overseas Territories Directorate), who have been strong advocates for Bermuda within the UK Government. They discussed with us the ways in which they engage with Bermuda and how they would very much like to strengthen the relationship between the Bermuda government and Whitehall.
At Stikeman Elliott, we undertook research on the legal and policy aspects of economic substance. The London Office also provides consular assistance to Bermudians with issues arising abroad, such as those relating to passports, legal services, administrations located in Bermuda, and general queries relating to living as a Bermudian in the UK. Consular officer Mr Brandon Sousa taught Ari and myself how to deal with such enquiries and provide comprehensive assistance to those seeking it.
This internship provided me with far greater awareness of pressing current issues, such as those relating to beneficial ownership and the EU blacklist, and how the London Office plays a central role in navigating these challenges, as well as managing the relationship between the UK and Bermuda governments. The Cabinet Office Internship program was my first experience working in the Bermuda government, and definitely sparked a desire to pursue a role in the civil service.