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£300M offer still stands | UK OT Minister still visiting BVI

British minister responsible for Overseas Territories, Lord Tariq Ahmad (left) meets with Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering and other BVI delegates this week.

The United Kingdom is still committed to guaranteeing up to £300 million in loans for the British Virgin Islands as it recovers from the catastrophic 2017 hurricane season.

That is according to Deputy Premier, Dr Kedrick Pickering following a bilateral meeting on June 12 with Lord Tariq Ahmad, the British minister responsible for Overseas Territories.

“Lord Ahmad confirmed that the UK Government remains committed to the BVI’s recovery and that the offer stands of a loan guarantee of up to £300 million … to advance the recovery,” Dr Pickering said.

Lord Ahmad to visit

Dr Pickering also said Lord Ahmad still has intentions of visiting the BVI in what has been described as a gesture of ‘support’ for the territory’s recovery efforts.

Just last week, Lord Ahmad reportedly bypassed the BVI and opted to visit the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Anguilla to meet with their respective leaders.

In an attempt to explain why the British minister visited other Overseas Territories but not the BVI, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said Lord Ahmad’s timing was ‘wrong for the BVI’ and as such, he went to the Cayman Islands instead.

The Premier never specified what made Lord Ahmad’s would-be visit to the BVI ill-timed and nor did he clarify whether it was Lord Ahmad who opted not to visit the BVI or whether local government requested the UK Minister not to come ‘at this time’.

The territory and the UK have been at odds since the British parliament passed the controversial public resister policy – an amendment to the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act.

This resulted in a major protest in the BVI on May 24.

During his meeting with Lord Ahmad this week, Dr Pickering said he vocalised the ‘constitutional concerns’ the territory has expressed, as well as the possible negative implications the UK’s controversial policy will have on the territory.

“There are certainly strains in the OTs-UK relationship on the issue of public registers, but I welcome Lord Tariq Ahmad’s constructive approach to the BVI’s recovery,” the Deputy Premier said.

Hurricane Preparedness

Other items that were discussed during the meeting include preparations for the 2018 hurricane season.

The Deputy Premier said he reaffirmed the territory will be ready for the peak of the hurricane season as work on shelters and other areas progress.

“We are of course still recovering from the rains and hurricanes of 2017, but all is being done that can be done to be ready for the 2018 hurricane season,” he told Lord Ahmad.

He then said Lord Ahmad pledged support to the territory during the 2018 hurricane season, which started nearly two weeks ago.

Dr Pickering’s meeting with Lord Ahmad is part of a wider high-level political meeting between the UK and its Overseas Territories.

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16 Comments

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  1. SMDH says:

    They were committed to keep our public registers for beneficial ownership to be available only upon request but look what happen.

  2. My take says:

    The British government is too weak to follow through or keep any promise.

    • Overseas Territories Minister - Lord Ahmad says:

      They simply have decided which battles are worth fighting,and the OTs resistance to public registries is not one of them.

      Parliament has spoken – and you are ‘British’ whether you are aware or not. We will keep our reserved powers to effect our will as required.

      Yet he has noted: that most of the international business firms doing business here are legitimate, and all they want is privacy, “which is a fundamental human right”.

      His advice is to cool your temper and get on with fashioning the requisite order….and they will help….rather than waiting for it to be imposed on disadvantageous terms to our detriment. Its urgent, but not all that urgent with 2ys to go.

      The question is, whether the risk is worth the wait of two years of uncertainty, while our clients migrate elsewhere or Brexit pressures on UK may have subsided or resolved as is expected in 2019.

      Meanwhile, the UK is the only country in the world with a “public register”, (the USA not remotely interested,) and performs its wizardry of
      deception, under the gaze of the City of London.

      Thus they cannot be accused of being complicit or insensitive to the British Press, or E.U. negotiators who are seeking a pound of flesh, amongst an uninformed but irate public.

  3. Lodger says:

    Maybe he didnt come because of what happened in Cayman, with the governor being recalled.

  4. Ethics says:

    Another trip same results. £300 loan guarantee. Thats all you get boys. And youre lucky. Now go home and start working.

  5. Rubber Duck says:

    Very surprised he has not been arrested as he declared war on the British. Though maybe they just laugh at him.

  6. BVIYoungman says:

    WOW! After all the disrespect we have UK recently, both government officials (especially DR Pickering) and local residence, The UK still giving us this ‘Big Loan’. That should Teach yall UNGREATFUL PEOPLE SOMETHING!

    Im Glad I kept strong in my belief and opinion about UK! IM A BRITISH CITIZEN AND PROUD!!!

    • Lol says:

      Can you read? Where did you see anywhere UK giving a loan?

      • BVIYoungman says:

        UM CAN YOU READ?! I ain’t even playing teacher with you. GO AND READ OVER YOURSELF!

        #donttrytobefunny #nobodylaughingsochangeyourname

    • SYWMKTUP says:

      The UK is not giving us no loan. Read well. We do not want to be the slaves of the British Again, so tell the UK fire themselves. We will make it somehow. All you doubt me. We must leave the UK to get ahead. Any one of our leaders is far better than the hands of the wicked British.

      • Rubber Duck says:

        The British are guaranteeing the loan. That means they will repay the loan if the BVI doesn’t. What do the British gain from that?

  7. Lol says:

    So after all his — talks at tge walk he didn’t talk war or divorce with Lord Ahmad?

    Looks like he regained his senses.

  8. Progressive says:

    Just get the RDA board to sign the papers so the recovery can start. This all should have started months ago. We have no shelters and crumbling infrastructure. We deserve better leadership locally.

    The Constitutional overreach point is in hand and we have a good legal team on it. cayman also has Lord Pannick.

    We need to cleverly craft and market revised laws that not only mitigate the risk being imposed in us by not just the UK but the EU and the US (as they actually compete with UK and her Overseas Territories) and get out ahead of the competition.

    Here, we’re newd the red tape and favourite to get out of the way. Get people properly housed, back to work and let this be the dawn of a new BVI. Out of adversity comes opportunity. The Blitz in German cities, Singapore split from Malaysia, Manchester bombing Grenada and Cayman after Ivan. All came back better and stronger. We must not miss this chance and must not allow any government to miss it either.

  9. Maria Louisa Varlack says:

    Yes take the 300 million pounds from the United Kingdom Government. You are going to need the United Kingdom Government as a valuable friend in the time of need. Yes stay with the United Kingdom Government. Make friends with the Canadian Government. When there is a famine, pestilence or a disaster in the country they would come to your aid. Be kind to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Second. She is a friendly monarchy. She would do no harm to British Virgin Islanders.

  10. Wow says:

    Are you serious Maria? Interesting to see how good we are at pulling the wool over our own eyes. We are being encouraged to bury our country in debt and then destroy the local economy to make it impossible for the country to repay. Looks like a classic set up…stay awake citizens!!

  11. OECS Hello ? says:

    AND don’t forget BVI came back too after leaving
    ANTIGUA and the COLONY OF THE LEEWARD iSLANDS.

    CAYMAN IS.too, after ceasing to be a so-called dependency of JAMAiCA.

    ANGUILLA too after leaving St.Kitts & Nevis.

    BVI will thrive because of its indefatigable entrepreneurial spirit and rugged individualism.

    New alliances and economic partnerships on a global scale will ensure BVI’s long term prosperity.

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