JAMAICA’s Prime Minister has said his country is “on the journey” with plans to become a republic as King Charles made clear that "these matters are for the determination of sovereign nations".

The country's leader Andrew Holness citied “bureaucratic political processes” as the reason for delaying plans to cut colonial ties with the UK and remove King Charles as head of state.

The PM said he hopes to soon follow Barbados who became a republic on November 30, 2021, exactly 55 years after it was declared independent from the UK.

In an interview during an unofficial visit to the UK this week, Holmess said he would have preferred to have cut ties with the UK as soon as the Queen passed, however a “long period of public education and public consultation" had “elongated” the process.

Holness said: “We have set indicative timelines. We would have wanted to be able to do this within a year, but the process is not a linear one.”

READ HERE: Barbados's move to republic has been smooth. Will other nations follow?

Asked if the royal family have been stalling the process, the Jamaican PM said: “In fact they have been very graceful. The royal family and King Charles was very clear at the Commonwealth that these matters are for the determination of sovereign nations.”

The British Government “has expressed no view” on the matter, he revealed.

He further added that there was always a “strong love and respect” for the late Queen.

The national discussion in Jamaica has intensified since April 14, 2023, when Constitutional Affairs Minister Marlene Malahoo Forte announced that, after holding five meetings, the Constitutional Reform Committee arrived at a consensus to recommend the abolition of the constitutional monarchy as the form of government, to be replaced by the Office of President of the Republic of Jamaica.

While Holness remains committed to removing the royal family, he reiterated his role to keep the Jamaican diaspora connected with the Caribbean island.

READ HERE: What coronation?': How Jamaicans are viewing the crowning of a British monarch

He said: “Part of my duty as Prime Minister is to interact with our diaspora and the Jamaican diaspora is quite large, the largest for the Caribbean.

"A fact that I always pay attention to is that there are as many Jamaicans overseas as there are Jamaicans living on the island and our diaspora remains very connected with the people on the island.

“They remain connected with their schools, they remain connected with their communities, they remain connected with their churches, and they remain connected with their families.

“Another role for our ambassadors - our special ambassadors which we have appointed - is to keep the diaspora engaged, keep the Jamaican flag flying high and to attract not just the cultural and social interest in Jamaica but also to attract and promote the commercial interest in Jamaica.”