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Britain owes Caribbean countries $205 billion in compensation, a Cambridge academic has revealed.

Britain owes Caribbean countries $205 billion in compensation, a Cambridge academic has revealed.

 


Britain owes Caribbean countries more than $200 billion in slavery reparations, a leading academic has claimed.

The Rev Michael Banner, president of Trinity College, Cambridge, said Britain was once the world's leading slave-holding nation and descendants of modern-day slaves deserve compensation.

The theologian and clergyman said in his new book, Britain's Slavery Debt, that he calculated that Britain owed $205 billion based on compensation claims brought by slave owners when the slave trade was abolished.

While the UK Government has repeatedly rejected claims for compensation, Dr Banner called on the Scottish Government to show leadership on the issue and begin repaying its share of 20.5 billion.

He has previously argued that the British government had a moral obligation to pay reparations for the slave trade to undo the original injustice of slavery.

Scotland has an opportunity to show leadership

In an interview with the Herald on Sunday, he argued Scotland should take the lead because he describes it as more progressive than the rest of the UK. A spokesman for the SNP-run government said the country was ready to reflect on its colonial history and did not rule out doing so.

Dr Banner said: The famous Scots played a large part in growing and maintaining the British Empire and Glasgow was particularly closely associated with Caribbean trade. Now Scotland has the opportunity to once again show leadership on the right by recognizing the compelling case for reparations for Caribbean countries and people.

The UK government has consistently failed to meet this responsibility. Scotland can show the way.

Dr. Banner based this on the amount he thought Britain should have repaid for the more than 40 million slave owners he argued should have been compensated when the trade was made illegal in 1833. Even though the compensation they received was only 20 million.

He calculated that, based on figures provided by slave owners, each slave was worth 60 people at the time, and between the 17th and 19th centuries, 2.3 million people were transported from Africa to the Caribbean. Taking compound interest and other factors into account, we arrive at a figure of $205 billion in today's dollars.

He said: We know that people living in the Caribbean who are now demanding reparations are the heirs of those who have been wrongfully harmed. And we in Britain are largely the heirs of the wealth that has come our way. It's not that old, and in some ways it's still very active.

Scottish people have another pressing problem.

Caricom, an organization representing 20 Caribbean states, has announced a 10-point plan for compensatory justice.

UN judge Patrick Robertson argued last year that Britain would likely have to pay more than $18 trillion in compensation for its role in slavery in 14 countries.

Institutions such as the Church of England, the University of Glasgow, and some prominent British families agreed to set up a fund to pay for slave reparations.

Scottish Tory MSP Stephen Kerr said Dr Banner's reasoning may have been the equivalent of the ivory tower of a Russell Group university, but did not address the real issues we face.

He added: As a serious public policy proposition, it is frankly absurd. Scottish people have another pressing problem. We need to address the real priorities of Scots and stop caring about academic virtue signaling.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/05/19/britain-owes-caribbean-nations-205bn-in-reparations/

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