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UK OT Minister bypasses BVI in regional visit | Bad timing, says Premier

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith. (BVI News photo)

As the British Overseas Territories continue to voice their objection to the United Kingdom’s ‘public registers’ controversy, Britain’s minister responsible for Overseas Territories, Lord Tariq Ahmad visited a number of those territories to hold discussions with the respective leaders last week.

Lord Ahmad visited with Overseas Territories such as the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Anguilla.

However, other territories such as the British Virgin Islands received no such visit and residents have called for an explanation.

In what can be described as a facile explanation in a social media post, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith on Monday said Lord Ahmad’s rounds in the region were ill-timed.

Dr Smith said: “Lord Ahmad intended to visit the BVI and Anguilla. However, the timing was wrong for the BVI, which he understood perfectly and he decided to visit Cayman Islands instead.”

The Premier did not specify what made Lord Ahmad’s would-be visit to the BVI ill-timed.

He also did not 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’.

Meanwhile, the Premier’s explanation did not sit well with some social media users.

“This is what pi**es off the masses. Mr Premier will tell you 25 percent of the story and then leave the people to wonder what is so wrong in saying why the timing was not right. You really making it worse, smh,” one user said while replying to Dr Smith’s post yesterday (May 4).

Another user wrote: “Something subversive happening and the visit by the British Lord would have been inconvenient and perhaps caused uncomfortable questions requiring answers to have been given. Of course, that is only a guess as no answers have been forthcoming … But, with luck, they are being formulated in the ‘creative department’.”

The public registers controversy 

The BVI has been at odds with the UK since the British parliament passed a Bill that is forcing the BVI and other Overseas Territories to implement what are known as public registers of company beneficial ownership.

These registers mean the BVI is required to publicise the names of beneficial owners of offshore companies registered in the territory.

Effectively, beneficial ownership is a legal term where specific property rights belong to a person even though the legal title of the property is in another person’s name.

Publicising the names of these beneficial owners could discourage them from doing business with the BVI as it relates to financial services.

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19 Comments

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  1. Good Going says:

    A visit would have been in my opinion,an insult,additional salt in the wounds,the hangman checking the pulse of the victim. Unless he was coming with a different tune then it was more fitting that he hide his brown nose. I appreciate that he gave us that much respect.

    • Uncle Buck says:

      You need to relax.

    • Churchill says:

      I thought we were at war with the UK? If Orlando can infact upstage Trump’s visit to Singapore and schedule a meeting next week with the leader of the UK will he:1) demand her surrender; 2) offer terms of surrender (think Braveheart) in return for a family claim to a large track of land in Sussex; or 3) offer her a role as a judge in the Ms BVI Pagent?

  2. See says:

    Why would he even want to come here ?
    To visit incompetent fools now playing a race card against the UK ?

  3. Sam the man says:

    The BVI has been disrespectful to the UK, Dr Pickering declared war and stated that we intend to divorce, we have been ungrateful for all the assistance given after Irma and complain that it wasn’t enough…so I’m not surprised in the slightest that he ignored us…we aren’t that big anyhow so he had more important people and places to visit….I’m sure no offence was intended – but no doubt the “No Direction Party” will whip yet another smokescreen up to try and continue to hide their incompetence at leading us…

  4. Meghan says:

    Not rocket science. The Minister simply ignored these spoilt, naughty little children with temper tantrums until they get over it and start working.

  5. Funny says:

    People in the BVI make me laugh, everything is stupid politics! When the vote was first announced, all you could hear was F the UK, this that and the other. NDP joined in the fray and now all of a sudden it’s considered disrespectful to talk bad about the UK and the Queen? The level of stupidity and pettiness is seriously mind boggling in this place. Just a bunch of sheeple parading around pretending to have morals, principle and a real love for this Territory. All most people are concerned about is themselves and a few minutes in the spotlight.

    • Stepping razor says:

      They’re lovers of money and not lovers of self that’s why they’re in this predicament.
      Proclaiming to be a Christian nation but forgetting that the bible that they so believe in said that the love of money is the root of evil.
      The leaders need to instill some integrity within themselves.

    • Theo says:

      I said it before and I’ll say it again. The people who try to get all the attention in the BVI must really think that anyone who has to deal with issues like wars in the Middle East and issues with Russia really prioritises the BVI?

      Sure I get it’s a big deal for the BVI, but the same geniuses who are out there speaking on behalf of everybody really should realise the UK and just about any other international power can just leave us to fend for ourselves. Sure we’ll kick and scream and complain, but nobody has to listen to us.

      Nobody owes us any obligation……….yet the values the older generations are instilling on the younger ones is all about how we’re owed this and that.

      What a sad state of affairs really. The BVI is gone into oblivion and really doesn’t get that it won’t matter who they declared war on or which hurricane hit us.

  6. Rubber Duck says:

    As a minister of the territory has declared war on the U.K. perhaps he was worried he would be ——— as a — by Dr P——– Stormtroopers and banged up in Balo.

  7. People voice says:

    Well let’s boycott the queen’s parade on Saturday then

  8. Sam says:

    Look! The only thing could stop the public register is a successful Judicial Preview. It’s equally important to point out that the decision itself will not be up for review. Rather, it will be whether the U.K. Parliament can do what it so did by legislating for the BVI under the current circumstances. Thus a visit by by the Member of the Upper Chamber aka House of Lords would have made no difference..The measure was already approved by both Houses..

    • @Sam says:

      EXACTLY!! It was simply formality and photo-op BS which is why the Premier decided to promote the Territory in Asia rather than stick around for the horse and pony show.

  9. Come On!!! says:

    Seriously? If you are following the news, the Premier is on a visit to our financial services stakeholders and clients in Asia at the same time at the OT Minister is visiting the other territories. He can’t be in two places at the same time, and it is only prudent that the OT Minister meet with the Premier as the Government Head.

  10. Reality says:

    It’s time our Premier stopped his expensive all expenses paid foreign jaunts and stayed at home to catch up on all the many years of outstanding annual financial accounts he’s failed to deliver! It’s got beyond a joke now and he seems to just treat it as trivial that as finance minister he repeatedly i—– public accountability. If he had worked for any reputable company he’d have been sacked years ago for d———– of his duties….

  11. Bvi lander says:

    Yea mr ———— is pushing i————— because — want to push — hands in the cookie jar.while the poor get poorer and the richer.they want to thief from the treasury and the uk.wouldnt can stop them.bvislanders lets wake up.lets learn from the mistake of the other caribbean islans.

  12. Bvi lander says:

    Guys we need to vote out pickering please.if we go independence what currency are we gonna spend.are we still gonna travel visa free to the us and elswhere.what kind of industry can we depend on.pickering need to step down.

    • Ha ha says:

      That’s the only thing you worrying about?
      What currency you would use?
      If you would be able to travel to the US freely?
      You have lots more to worry about if we get independence trust me what you mentioned is the least of our worries.

  13. Bvi lander says:

    Well i am with you my brother.the government is just looking an opotunity to put their hands in the cookie jar.

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