UK Minister for the Overseas Territories (OTs), David Rutley has stated that the BVI government should prioritise the outstanding governance reforms recommended by the Commission of Inquiry (COI).
Rutley made the statement yesterday at the end of his meetings with the BVI government and civil servants that are leading the controversial implementation process, which UK officials say is taking too long.
“It is clear that there are still outstanding actions to work through to deliver the agreed programme of reform by the end of May as set out by the Premier. It must be a top priority to get this back on track. Good governance is the foundation of a safer, fairer and more prosperous BVI, which is what the people of the BVI deserve,” Minister Rutley said.
The Minister initially delivered a threat to the BVI government when he first arrived, saying the UK will not hesitate to invoke additional powers over the BVI if they deem it necessary. But after his meetings with the government, he said the discussions were productive. There was also no reiteration of the promise to impose additional powers over the territory.
However it is still unclear whether the threat still looms over the elected government.
In the meantime, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley also confirmed that his government’s talks with Minister Rutley went well. In a statement after the series of meetings with the UK Minister, the Premier said the engagements were “very constructive.”
“Minister Rutley listened carefully, gave sound advice and offered a great deal of support in our common goal of concluding our obligations under the framework of the implementation of the recommendations of the COI report,” Wheatley said.
He added: “Minister Rutley recognised the progress and the obvious commitment the government has made thus far and was honest in areas where more progress was needed.”
The Premier also said Minister Rutley’s visit was important in further cementing the relationship between the territory and the UK. He also promised that his government will move hastily to implement the remaining COI reforms in the coming months.
Copyright 2024 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.