Five committees have been formed to document responses from residents on the UK-sanctioned inquiry into the future of the BVI’s relationship with Britain.
The committees were formed Thursday evening and community meetings begin next week, said Opposition legislator Andrew Fahie — the man leading the discussions.
He said committee members have “all agreed to keep this initiative about the future of the territory and not about politics”.
“This initiative proves that once we involve our people at every level and give our people the forum and opportunities to excel, then together as one people, we can fix and improve the entire Virgin Islands and keep it on the cutting edge,” said Fahie who invited ‘all Virgin Islanders and Belongers’ to participate in the meetings.
The first meeting will be held at 9:30am on Tuesday, August 21, at Foxy’s Tamarind Bar, Jost Van Dyke.
The second meeting is scheduled for 7pm Wednesday at Treasure Isle Hotel in Road Town, Tortola.
Meetings continue at 4pm on Thursday at the Anegada Community Center.
The final meeting is scheduled for Friday at 5:30pm at the Catholic Community Centre on Virgin Gorda.
The UK suggested it was prompted to launch the inquiry because of the growing strain between it and OTs such as the BVI.
As part of the inquiry, any person or group in the BVI can submit their thoughts about the governance of OTs, financing of OTs, and how the relationship between the UK and its OTs benefit each party, among other things.
While making his first public address on the matter which the UK announced nearly a month ago, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said government will use the opportunity of the inquiry to address important issues with the UK.
“Among other things, we will seek to ensure that the [UK] … understands our position on the recent threat of an Order in Council and why this has the potential to have such an adverse impact on the partnership between us,” Dr Smith said.
Effectively, an Order in Council is a forceful command made in the name of Her Majesty the Queen. Failure to comply with that command can result in the UK exerting diplomatic pressure on the BVI.
The UK is threatening to serve an Order in Council because the BVI continues to resist Britain’s ultimatum that the territory should implement public registers by December 2020.
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