Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has criticised the Andrew Fahie-led government for projecting what he said has been unprecedented hostility towards the United Kingdom (UK).
Penn said while there has been some level of friction between the BVI and UK governments occasionally, their relationship has “always been open, cordial, [and] respectful.
Noting that many Virgin Islanders hold Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the “highest regard”, the Opposition Leader suggested that the Fahie administration has been sullying the relationship.
“I have never witnessed the type of rancour by any of our past leaders with Her Majesty’s government, as we do today. This type of hostility is a cause for concern,” he said in a late-night statement on Monday.
“It is of concern, being mindful of the strategic benefits of a harmonious relationship between the two and ultimately for the BVI, in the global community. Where is the plan to repair our relationship with the UK and the Queen?” Penn questioned.
The Fahie administration and the UK has been experiencing a visibly strained relationship — especially in the last few months and weeks of former governor, Augustus Jaspert’s tenure in the BVI.
But while the Opposition Leader hails the BVI and Britain’s relationship as being harmonious before the Fahie administration took office, his political party-mate Mark Vanterpool came on record back in 2018 and reported that the UK had been hostile to BVI delegates in the past.
Vanterpool said parliamentarians in the UK were hostile towards former Premier, Dr D Orlando Smith when he went begging for assistance weeks after Hurricane Irma ravaged the British Virgin Islands.
According to Vanterpool, one UK Opposition member appeared to be harbouring ill-feelings because the BVI did not agree to implement a public register that would effectively reveal the names of offshore company owners registered in the territory.
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