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UK votes against BVI | Premier calls emergency meeting

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith has called an emergency government meeting in light of the United Kingdom parliament’s decision today to impose a public register of beneficial ownership on the BVI and other British Overseas Territories.

The UK’s decision is an amendment to its Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. This means the BVI has until the end of the year 2020 to publicly reveal the names of all persons who own offshore companies in the territory.

When the bill was mentioned in UK parliament today (May 1), the British Government — who initially supported the overseas territories — announced that it recognised “the majority view in this House”.

As such, the Prime Minister Theresa May-led British government said it would not oppose the amendment to the bill, which possibly has rippling effects on the BVI’s financial services industry and economy.

Back in the BVI, Premier Smith subsequently postponed this morning’s sitting of the House of Assembly to contemplate the UK’s decision.

“We must have a discussion about it and decide where we go as a country … I’d like to now ask that the House be adjourned sine die (indefinitely) ” Premier Smith told legislators this morning.

Regional groups defend BVI; UK votes on financial services today

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48 Comments

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  1. SMH says:

    And this has happened on his watch…wow…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Four hundred years of unearned wages for us, a reality that triggered their industrial revolution.

    Two hundred years we were left alone to stave or exist the best we could. However, we didn’t just exist, we thrived!

    Because we thrived, they now have the desire and political will to send us back from whence we came, into abject poverty.

    Perhaps, the time, though it may seem daunting, has come for us seek an autonomous sovereign existence.

    No one should have and control the power to decide whether you thrive, survive or suffer but you.

    The time is soon coming when we will have to decide upon and cast out fate to the future or continue to live under foreign tyranny.

    • true says:

      as someone from the UK and now living in the BVI I wholeheartedly agree that this is the catalyst to becoming a sovereign nation.

      The revenue streams that will disappear to the USA offshore accounts as well as Europe and Asia will become too much and so its time, but you must let all your residents vote to help balance the imbalance of family ties in the political sphere.

      • Rubber Duck says:

        The problem is that without the word British there would probably not be much of a finance industry here in the first place.

        • UK resident says:

          You hit the nail on the head.

          • Howdy doody says:

            Let’s face the facts. A few expats started the offshore finance industry in the BVI, and for the last 20 years the Labour and immigration departments have driven the good work elsewhere by making it so difficult to employ properly qualified and experienced professional. The result is that we have just become a corporate domicile with trust companies employing semi literate staff to print documents prepared abroad, file the documents at the Registry, and then scan and email the files versions of the documents. That is not a finance industry – it is routine administration. The finance is done by professionals elsewhere.

        • Anonymous says:

          I totally agree.

        • duck1951 says:

          of course, because the funds get channeled right back !

    • The grass is greener... says:

      If the BVI were an independent nation we would all still be waiting for electricity.

    • Heads Buried in the Sand says:

      Everyone should have seen this coming when:

      1. UK granted BVI residents access to British passport. Everything has it price. For a minute you were not a threat because literacy rates went up, wealth went up some even if you joined them in the UK you would not mooch off UK taxpayer dollars on welfare.. you had some wealth or at least presumed to have some.

      2. You all got wealthy to fast (not to mention you became arrogant, thick headed and mean spirit about it) humbleness went out the door; their thought process is no black person should be able to live like or better them.

      3.Hurricane disaster presented the opportune time to kick BVIslanders while they are down so they can have their play ground back that they stole from the Arawaks and Caribs.

      4. You only need look at what Katrina did to New Orleans. A great majority of the black families who had been there for generations move to Texas in hurricane Harvey valley, for what they thought was temporary and was never able to return back home. Same will happen in St. Thomas, St. John (especially) and Puerto Rico.

      I don’t think one would solely blame the current politicians. They may have accelerated this issue, but I am sure this was a long time in the making.

      My BVI how I mourn my BVI. The remaining generation who clearly remember the days of starvation in the BVI are leaving us each month post hurricane. Change is coming are you willing to fight back, are those spoiled rude children understand what is happening and ready to fight back?

  3. ONE THING FOR SURE says:

    WHO GOT US INTO THIS MESS CAN’T TAKE US OUT OF IT

  4. lets be real for min says:

    Margaret Hodge, the opposition Labour member of parliament who introduced the amendment, said it would help prevent tax evasion and disrupt the activities of criminals and militant groups.

    “It will stop them exploiting our secret regime, hiding their toxic wealth and laundering money into the legitimate system, often for nefarious purposes,” she said.

    “With open registers we will then know who owns what and where, and we will be able to see where the money flows, and then we will better equipped to root out dirty money and deal with the issues that arise from that.”

    Naomi Hirst, a spokeswoman for the Global Witness anti-corruption group, said the move comes after four similar amendments submitted before parliament in the past failed.

    She added the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England in March had probably pressured the government to tackle the web of offshore shell companies used to invest in Britain.

    Seven times the amount of money from Russia has flowed to British overseas territories rather than directly into Britain over the last decade, she said.

    “This has really fired up imaginations and pointed out to even the most squeamish of politicians concerned about Russian’s role in the world that they need to look at this,” she said.

    The amendment does not apply to the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, because parliament does not have the right to impose its will on them.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Margaret Hodge in spite of her name is a more or less communist Jewish E—–. She has a history of anti U—- and anti c—- votes and deeds. Her every action is designed to cause tr—– for the U.K. and for business in general. The narrowness of the U.K. governments majority has give this woman considerable power. We are suffering.

    • SMH says:

      Arent you aware that there is a Registry and legitimate request can receive response within an hour. SMH

  5. Facts For Today. says:

    It is no accident that all the
    UK remaing Territories….are engaged in financial services.
    London,the Channel Islands,showed us the way.

    Now after a Major flood, 2 major devastating hurricanes, $1.6bil USC in damages, No funding commitment to our recovery beyond providing a guarantee that BVI Will repay, they are now crippling our economy with this intervention.

    Hypocrites….said it before and saying it again….NEVER. TRUST A WORD From an ENGLISHMAN.

  6. WOW says:

    Better get those smiles ready because Tourism is all we have for money.

  7. Introspection says:

    The time to look at ourselves as a nation is now. We are our own history and surely our own future. We should be masters of our own fate in all sovereignty. This setup of having other countries act as modern day prefects on other people because of historical land acquisition should be rejected. However all being said and done, as a people we must also stop being proud especially of a land we do not own. This family tied self enrichment currently at play does nothing but spell doom to any future prospects of independence. So a lot has to be rid of, first the shackles of the former masters and then the demigod status that those currently in power have bestowed upon themselves at the expense of us the ordinary people.

  8. I dont know says:

    I just got a headache. Can the UK do this? What does this mean for the BVI?

  9. Sam the man says:

    At least we have the main pillar of agriculture to fall back on – Dr Pickering better get some diesel in his tractor and start ploughing!!! Looks like da gravy train is ending sooner than you think…

    • DrShorty says:

      Dr Pickering better get some diesel in his tractor and start ploughing!!!

      Hahaha this is the best comment I have read on this site in the last 3 years. We’ll played!

  10. Fat Man says:

    The good times have rolled. There was no chance that this would go on for ever. The UK has tried hard to shelter huge money laundering, but even the Channel Islands and Man are realizing that they have to change their business model. BVI must do the same.

  11. Sad says:

    As a young person, it truly hurts to see these things happening to my country. We all know this is our main source of income and Britain is going to strip it away from us, leaving us even more vulnerable than we already are. They will also provide us with no extra help. Hurricane Irma has ravaged us & it seems as though we are going to stay in this ravaged state due to Britains actions and lack of adequate assistance.
    The decent amount of youth that planned on going back home will be reduced even more if they have any idea of what is to come in the near future.
    This is so terrible to see happening so early in my life

  12. . Disgusted says:

    If tourism is all you have that too will soon disappear with those dom ass rude immigration officers that you have there .

  13. Boy says:

    Problem is I have never meet a bvislander who has ever worked…not buisness trip..abroard..never..Visited..school..but work..never.Should be intresting.to see cause yhis is were your about be..looking work foreign.

  14. BVI! says:

    This is not a specific UK action. Globalization is maturing and the international community has decided that there should be transparency of money flows.

    Everyone saw this coming, including our government. Unfortunately they were not able to develop new industries and now we are in trouble. Irma came at the wrong time, but has nothing to do with the poor business situation of the territory.

    I don’t understand the people screaming for sovereignty; do you want to build a nation on illegal money streams and become and outcast in the world without a big brother to fall back upon? Please think before you destroy our future.

    • Future says:

      The BVI has developed organizations that give the transparency that is needed to law enforcement. (Not sure if you are aware) The BVI is more transparent the the US and the UK.

      There is a decision that has to be made, either the BVI decides to go independent and risk the country’s economy or go with the UK and solidify the fall of the BVI economy.

  15. The Truth says:

    These are the same bigoted idiots that voted for Brexit and didn’t even want it or were aware of the implications. This is unconstitutional. We need to link with other overseas OTs and challenge in court.

  16. CW says:

    Not a word in these comments about what this new action from the UK actually does. It eliminates several of the principal sources of dirty money that funds terrorism, human trafficking, and money laundering. Very few BVIlanders actually work in offshore finance, and many that do came from UK. This is a step that helps the entire world and all you can do is look at yourselves. Look at the opportunity as a nation, pull yourselves up, and be the people you constantly claim to be. Prove it BVI. Now is your time to make it or blow it. Based on these comments I’d pack a bag. SMH

  17. Sonzabich says:

    All dem pillars be cracking and falling all over the BVI. Looks like the jig is up and we is it.

  18. Coming Home to Roost ! says:

    So the UK is doing this to stop illegal money laundering, money from crime being hidden. BVI objects. really ! what are the moral standards of this God Fearing Island. don’t worry you can rely on Fishing and agricultural Industry that was in operation 30 years ago. Oh No you don’t have that any more because you were too busy taking dirty money. OK tourism ! Oh Dear but you are so rude to visitors and they don’t want to come any way because you offer nothing and the place is a mess because all the money to put the island back to shape is gone and you refused help that was offered. I know Get talented foreign professionals to come work and improve the Place. Oh No you don’t like that BVI’s only employed on the island to do zero hours jobs. Its all coming home to Roost BVI

  19. Laura says:

    I’m all for transparency but this needs to be a wider initiative. BVI and Cayman Island’s loss will be Jersey, Guernsey’s and any other areas where Westminster has no constitutional power over crown dependencies.

    This will achieve nothing for transparency.The problem is that there is no real global standard on where data protection ends and transparency begins. There needs to be a=some sort of International debate about how to balance privacy against transparency. Until some core principles are settled policy-making will be ad-hoc and prone to hog-wash like this by the UK.

  20. Interesting says:

    Hence the reason why the U.K. Government cannot be trusted. And the reason why Liberalism is dangerous. The Anti Tax Haven campaigners are dangerous. They are the same ones who pushed for same sex marriages and doing away with the death penalty and we have seen what this has lead to. The BVI is at a cross road. It goes to show that the U.K. cares nothing about it’s so called Overseas Terroties. Thee dirty money is in London not the BVI. The houses owned by the oligarchs are in London not the BVI. The British simply cannot be trusted.

  21. Disgusted says:

    Why an emergency meeting? We’ve all known for years now that this was a distinct possibility, surely we have a Plan B. I don’t believe our government have done nothing to prepare for this scenario. That would be irresponsible would it not?

  22. UFO says:

    I would love to invest in the Caribbean and BVI in particular . I am a very successful honest legitimate businessman. I have very good contacts both political & business, and have run many projects for different groups. My main company have just been voted into the finals of ” Employer of the year ” for our area. The only thing that stops me investing a significant amount in BVI is the employment criteria. How can I build successfully without equality with the local population ” belongers”, bring in people who CAN DO by embracing us and our talented employees. Finding out that honest hardworking people can be trusted won’t be a revelation. Equality & fairness should be the building blocks of your future.

  23. Observant says:

    Dame Margaret Hodge said that the BVI has dirty money. I ask now the money that the UK obtained during slavery and the raping of Africa, India and other nations up to this present day is clean? Whilst the NDP and previous gvts did some unsavory things. I don’t think the British have the right to condemn anyone. Monarchies through history have loved to tax the common man and if we allow these imperialists to bully us, soon it’s back to the cotton and cane fields.

  24. Interesting says:

    They have raped the Caribbean for years through their slave ownership. The OT should decide not to implement it. I wish I could say what I really want to say

  25. Coming Home to Roost ! says:

    Lets just get this clear. there is still an off-sure business with TAX benefits for investors for lots and lots of legitimate companies and this is the majority of the financial business on BVI. This legislation is to stop illegal money and money from Crime, drugs and PEOPLE TRAFFICKING. The Irony is how BVI’ers still go on about slavery and playing the victim however bitch about stopping money from the proceeds of PEOPLE TRAFFICKING . This is modern day slavery and the BVI people don’t want to stop it how STUPID and BLIND can you be BVI for easy dollars

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