BVI News

Current situation makes independence scary

Eileen Parsons. File photo

Eileen Parsons. File photo

Amid increasing calls for the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to seek greater self-determination or even independence from Britain, former Government minister Eileen Parsons said she is ‘worried’ about the prospects of the territory becoming independent.

“I hear people talk about ‘we want to go independent; why we don’t go independent?’ I don’t know why I am worried, but that is when I feel like asking the prayer warriors to hold an all-night vigil in the Noel Lloyd Park and ask God to let the winds of wisdom blow over my country.”

“When I see what is happening now, and I think on what could happen if we are left to rule ourselves, it gives me cause for concern,” Parsons said last evening during a lecture at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College.

Her latest expression about the status quo comes weeks after a leaked letter she penned to the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) ended up in the press. In the letter, Parsons, who is a member of the NDP, blasted her governing party over its stewardship of both the BVI and the political organization.

We don’t lack anything independence would give

During the lecture last evening, Parsons admitted that, at one point, she was concerned about UK-imposed polices such as the abolition of capital punishment in the BVI.

“I was even more concerned when the homosexual law was applied to us. We had no hand in that.”

“The mother country doesn’t really bother us [otherwise],” Parsons reasoned.

She stated that she does not know what additional benefits would accrue from independence.

“To me, we are living in a lovely part of the world. We are free – we couldn’t be freer, and I don’t know if we lack anything that independence would give us.”

“What is it we want that we don’t have…? We have good bit of money floating around; we have our lovely homes in the hills; [and] we can walk in peace most times,” Parsons further said during the lecture that focused on the constitutional stance the BVI could take in order to achieve strategic development.

Her reference to independence also comes at a time when the BVI is gearing up to approach the United Kingdom for more power over its local affairs, especially through a review of the Virgin Islands Constitution.

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has indicated that the review – among other things – will seek to reduce the power of the governor.

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