Ronnie Skelton, one of at least four political leaders hoping to emerge as Premier at the end of the upcoming general elections, has said his party has no immediate intention to decrease the degree of control the United Kingdom has over the British Virgin Islands.
Skelton — the Chairman of the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) — gave that indication at a recent conference with the PVIM’s slate of candidates for elections.
He was answering questions specifically to whether a PVIM administration would be minded to seize control of the territory’s national security portfolio.
“The governor, under the constitution, is responsible for internal security. I think there is a reason why Britain will not allow you to go much further until you make a decision for self-determination,” Skelton said.
He added: “We are not about self-determination at this point in time.”
The PVIM leader’s comments come mere weeks after the territory’s financial secretary, Glenroy Forbes, asserted that the time is ripe for the BVI to explore the idea of having greater self-determination.
While the PVIM is not open to the idea of taking the national security portfolio from the governor, it hails two of its candidates — security company owner Lesmore Smith and former Customs Commissioner Wade Smith — as assets in relation to implementing policies to improve national security.
Wade, for example, said he has plans of streamlining the three main law enforcement agencies in the territory — the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Her Majesty’s Customs, and the Department of Immigration.