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Premier, Fahie head to UK to discuss ‘public register’ dispute

Premier Dr D Orando Smith is heading to the United Kingdom on Monday to attend a series of meetings about the British parliament’s recent decision to impose public registers of beneficial ownership on the BVI and other Overseas Territories.

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie will be joining the Premier on the journey, said a media release from government.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Dawn Smith will also be making the trip.

The delegation is expected to return on Saturday, May 19.

Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering will act as Premier in Dr Smith’s absence.

Non-negotiable: BVI will not impose unfair public registers

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25 Comments

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  1. Open Sesame says:

    How come Mark not on this trip. Hmmm.

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  2. lol says:

    How come he is not walking with marlon to show off? How come he is not walking with myrun to have the uk eating out of their hands? How come he is not walking with mark to hound m—-?

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  3. Plop says:

    Anyone in London please welcome Orlando in heathrow with a “save the Willy t” banner!

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  4. Sam the man says:

    What dispute ? The BVI must comply end of….the Premier apparently anticipated this and planned for this so bit of a waste of journey and time when the Islands infrastructure is continuing to crumble and needs urgent attention before the next hurricane season – which is pretty soon! But heh the No Direction Party continues to totally underwhelm us all as usual …. Stop wasting time and repair the Island please….

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    • So... says:

      BVI will not have public registers. Just watch!

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      • Sam the man says:

        Then its Independence Day and 3rd world here we come! Without the UK to sponge off anymore!

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        • BVI lawyer says:

          I am less sure about that. It is easy to overlook, but the UK Government did not want this: this was a backbencher amendment tabled by the opposition which the Government tried to avoid.

          Even if the UK Government did want to enforce the order, there are very real and practical difficulties. They can pass laws for the BVI, but they cannot administer systems. They need at least some level of cooperation from the authorities in the BVI in order to do so.

          There is absolutely scope for sensible discussions between the BVI and UK Government as to what we do next. The UK Government does not want to force anything on us if they can reasonably avoid it. They will be almost as keen as we are to discuss and find some sensible middle ground.

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      • Reality says:

        Actually So… We don’t have a choice this has already been passed by the UK Parliament – it will happen and the BVI has approx 18 months to comply – non negotiable I’m afraid despite the Premiers confused messages of sudden defiance – all smoke screens to hide the fact that they knew this was potentially coming in for the past 3 – 4 years and what have they done to plan and prepare for it? F…k All as usual and now the Government looks like a worried Rabbit in head lights.

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        • Adle says:

          The UK cannot enforce.
          The BVI is self supporting since 1976..No welfare from UK.
          The BVI will struggle but we know sruggle.
          With luck those pulling against us,the hangers on,those enjoying our largesse but wishing evil,the excess baggage will vacate and we proceed to recapture our culture and do our own thing.

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    • Hmmm says:

      Why is he not taking with him someone from FSC or even one of the board of Directors.

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  5. Curious George says:

    Day late and dollar short!!!

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  6. Rubber Duck says:

    As far as I can tell there is no definition of what “ public access” means.

    Can I suggest that it means a paper register ( not accessible on computers) kept in Road Town under conditions of high security. It would be available for people to look at for periods not exceeding 30 minutes , between the hours of 10.00 am and 12.00 am Tuesday to Thursday. ( excluding holidays)

    Persons looking at the register would obviously be working so a Work Permit would be necessary. These would be issued in advance at the Labour Departments usual speed following receipt of the necessary documents.

    A fee would of course be payable to look at the register.

    Say $50,000.

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    • BVI lawyer says:

      What you are suggesting (other than the fee) would not be that unusual. All of the other registers kept by the BVI Government are only accessible from inside the Territory, and so it would be perfectly consistent and legitimate to have any public register of beneficial ownership similarly constrained.

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  7. Love for my Country says:

    To Sam the Man: And what will the Premier repair the Island with? When our revenue streams have dried up, where will the money come from? Are you willing to pay higher taxes? We talk a lot of foolishness without looking at the facts and being reasonable. If there is no money to come in, we cannot spend what little is left carelessly.

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    • Sam the man says:

      There’s been plenty of money over the years but where has it gone? Exactly the problem and why the UK has little confidence in the BVI to be open and transparent – money laundering and dirty money will be steamed out so nothing the Premier can do about that I’m afraid – Tourism will be the only pillar left and it could have tremendous potential if the Government got its act together….

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  8. Devon says:

    How are they travelling there ? BVI Airways or Jarecki Airline ?

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    • I born here says:

      1st class at the tax payers expense yet again for a week in London and it won’t be all meetings as the one to discuss the public register will last no more than 5 minutes if that – just do it you actually haven’t any choice! No doubt a few theatre trips and expensive dinners thrown to fool people how important they are as usual….

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  9. Curious George says:

    This is quite literally the very definition of the term “ a day late and a dollar short”. Where was all this leadership before?? Certainly not standing up for our political sovereignty. Certainly not preparing for the eventuality of a changing financial services industry. Certainly not lobbying UK politicians to preserve our economy stability.

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  10. lol says:

    Use the same muscle like wha yo used against willy t when yo reach up there

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  11. Sam the man says:

    There has been a lot of ill informed emotional nonsense about this subject recently.False news about it being a return to colonialism etc…just because people don’t like it! or have plenty to hide?

    Lets be clear on three things whether we like it or not….

    1.The UK is helping deprive corrupt politicians and criminals of the use of anonymous companies to hide their real identities. This will go a long way in curbing corruption, money laundering, drug trafficking, tax evasion and financial crime responsible for the continued loss of much needed wealth from the world’s poorest countries.Developing countries are estimated to lose $120-$160bn (£100bn) a year of potential tax revenue from citizens who hide their wealth offshore. Africa loses twice as much in tax evasion as it receives in international aid.Now I would have expected the BVI to appreciate how important transparency is so that secrecy is avoided? Even more surprising are the pastors and church attending politicians that are preparing to join a futile march against this – it isn’t good publicity and will only harm us even more, just accept it and plan other revenue streams that are less dodgy….

    2. The Cayman Islands and Bermuda are among the larger financial centres within the 14 overseas territories (the BVI is small in comparison), which all operate a secretive financial system and have not been obliged to publicly state the true owners of companies. This will now change…Premier Smith has zero chance of not complying…unless he decides to go Independent and ruin us further….

    3. The recent amendment in the House of Commons forces the government of the BVI to change their system. MP Margaret Hodge has said it was a “world-changing measure in relation to the fight against corruption”…recently she chastised the first lady quite correctly and putting her in her place by saying you shouldn’t get wealthy off dirty money

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  12. Rubber Duck says:

    Sam, let’s not get too carried away with our comparative morality.

    You may form a UK company on line in 10 minutes. There is no check whatsoever on the names of the Directors or beneficial owners. You may call yourself say Rubber Duck or Sam the Man and give your adress as Buckinghm Palace. No one checks or cares.

    You mention the main instigator of this bill , Margaret Hodge. Hodge is a left wing quasi-communist who appears to hate B——- ( born Egyptian) and certainly professes to hate capitalism in all its forms. Except of course she does not hate the secretive Stemcor Steel company she owns a large chunk of. Stemcor sells $10 billion worth of steel a year and has a history of large un—- d—-. It is co owned by a less than universally respected muti-national fund called A—-. A—– is run by former lieutenants of one M—— M——– who was jailed for ten years in the USA for financial fraud.

    One wonders if it is one or more of her competitors she or her associates is interested in knowing the ownership of.

    S——–s own HQ is in St Helier Jersey. Jersey, although a notorious centre of offshore finance is surprisingly or maybe unsurprisingly, unaffected by Mrs Hodges legislation.

    Although a typical Gucci communist Hodge does not have the usual left wing views of say her boss, Corbyn, as she is a leading member of the Friends of Israel. A state most British socialists despise.

    Her other claim to fame is as a defender of child m—– in the Council she used to run. Hodge called the whistleblower who revealed what was going on “ a disturbed person” But later was forced to pay substantial damages in the English High Court to the same whistleblower.

    This multi millionaires “ socialist” with a history of protecting child a——- is not entitled to take the moral high ground about anything.

    It is despicable that this mega wealthy yet wo——- woman has the nerve to insult our not rich First Lady Lorna Smith for her alleged wealth. Lorna is certainly worth a thousand Hodges, but not financially.

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  13. Reality says:

    If the BVI has nothing to hide it shouldn’t be too upset about this and will comply…However because it hasn’t yet done this voluntarily and seems to always avoid honest transparency it will be imposed – not surprising really given the Governments track record for decades…

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/01/the-guardian-view-on-uk-tax-havens-mps-are-right-to-get-tough

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  14. Reality says:

    2 wrongs don’t make a right!….I wouldn’t disagree that there is still much to do to reduce dirty money and money laundering in the UK also but as your article link says it’s still a step in the right direction and it will be expanded upon make no mistake – the tide is turning and we need to accept it and evolve or fade and become irrelevant…

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  15. Alissekl says:

    hello who am i

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