Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley
Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley

Ending conscription in Bermuda remains firmly on the agenda for the new Government, according to the Public Safety Minister.

Michael Dunkley said he would be presenting a paper to cabinet within the next few weeks about how this could be done.

And he hopes to be able to make a public announcement on the subject before the end of the year.

Mr Dunkley told the Bermuda Sun that his department had spent the last 10 months researching and gathering information on how conscription could be phased out, while ensuring the future of the Bermuda Regiment.

But he warned that in the mean time ‘the law remained the law’ and those ordered to fulfill Regiment duties should complete them.

The Deputy Premier said: “We are still committed to end conscription in Bermuda.

“I am preparing a paper that I will take to Cabinet within the next couple of weeks and we hope to make a public announcement before the end of the year with more information.

“I have had discussions with the Regiment’s new Commanding Officer and am looking forward to a report from the National Security Review Board that government has put together.

“It will be up to Cabinet to look at the number of options put forward in the paper.

“Since we took office we have been researching and collecting information

“We need to make sure we have a Regiment that is well supported and able to fulfill its very important mandate.

“It is easy to make decisions, but it is difficult to make the right decisions that can stand the test of time.”

The abolition of conscription in Bermuda would require new legislation to be passed by the House of Assembly and the Senate.

But Mr Dunkley would not be drawn on when islanders should expect to see the end of conscription implemented.

He added: “In the absence of a more fulsome discussion as indicated must take place, it would be premature to put a timeline on the elimination of conscription

“The philosophy for the elimination of conscription is a matter of public record and reflects the Government’s position as promised in the 2012 campaign.

“The law remains the law until it is changed and people should comply with the law.”