Premier Dr D Orlando Smith is away from the territory attending meetings in the United Kingdom (UK), where he will discuss Brexit, which is the UK’s impending exit from the European Union (EU).
Brexit will directly affect the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and other UK Overseas Territories.
Premier Smith is away from July 9 to 15, said a press release issued yesterday by the Government Information Service.
It said: “He (Premier Smith) will have follow up discussions with the UK on BVI’s priorities for Brexit negotiations. These will include freedom of movement, international trade, market access, EU funding, and future relations with the EU.”
Premier Smith will also meet with leaders of the other UK Overseas Territories during a Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting. This meeting is held annually to give leaders of the UK Overseas Territories an opportunity to discuss their priorities for the upcoming annual Joint Ministerial Council meeting with the UK.
The Joint Ministerial Council is a group comprising premiers or chief ministers of the UK Ovseseas Territories, as well as members and ministers of the UK government.
The Brexit meeting is the second UK Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council being held in relation to the negotiations.
Premier Smith, in the meantime, is being accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Brodrick Penn.
Director of BVI London Office Benito Wheatley will also attend the meetings.
In the absence of Premier Smith from the territory, Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering will act as Premier. His automatic appointment is in accordance with the Virgin Islands Constitution.
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