The British Virgin Islands will be looking to use its connections with international partners in the financial services sector to back the United Kingdom when it exits from the European Union (EU) in the next few months.
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith gave that indication in a media release on Monday, stating that the BVI plays an integral role within the wider international economy.
He said: “As the UK approaches its exit from the EU in March 2019, the value of the BVI will only continue to increase in importance as we leverage existing relationships with key markets to support the UK as it looks to redefine its role on the international stage post-Brexit.”
He said he will be leveraging the BVI’s strong relationship with markets such as Asia and Africa.
Britain’s exit from the EU (a move dubbed Brexit) is among the things Premier Smith will discuss this week during a Joint Ministerial Council with the other leaders of UK Overseas Territories (OT).
The group is slated to discuss what Brexit means for OTs in the areas of international trade, the environment, development funding, and EU exit legislation.
The entire subject of the OT’s constitutional relationship with the UK will also be up for discussion, the Office of the Premier said.
“As the UK seeks to define its relationship with the EU we are, in turn, discussing how we ensure our constitutional relationship with the UK is fit for purpose,” Dr Smith said.
He added: “We are pleased that the UK government will continue to support us and are encouraged by the Prime Minister’s statement that ‘we will always negotiate on behalf of the whole UK family [including the Overseas Territories] and in the future relationship we will stand up for their interests’.”
Premier Smith further noted that his main focus in these joint ministerial meetings is to promote the role of the BVI in a post-Brexit world and to protect the rights of BVI residents as it relates to the territory’s constitutional relationship with the UK.
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