BVI News

‘This could alter our relationship with the UK’ — Premier

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith (left) and Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie recently travelled to London to discuss the UK’s public register controversy. (Photo provided)

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has suggested that there might be diplomatic repercussions between the BVI and the United Kingdom if the British nation proceeds with the controversial amendments to its Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill.

He made that statement coming out of discussions with the UK parliamentarians this week.

Dr Smith said he and Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie had a ‘full and frank exchange of views’ with senior members of the House of Lords.

In a media release on Friday (May 18), Dr Smith said: “Be in no doubt, that if the UK Parliament proceeds with seeking to impose public registers on the British Virgin Islands, this could fundamentally alter our relationship with the UK and we will take all necessary steps to protect our constitutional rights.”

Also commenting on this week’s talks with the UK, the territory’s Opposition leader said: “The Premier and I have made our position clear and both agree that this is a constitutional overreach. We stand united on protecting the constitutional rights of the British Virgin Islands.”

Effectively, the UK wants the BVI and other Overseas Territories to publicise the names of beneficial owners of offshore companies registered in those territories.

Such a move is feared to cripple the BVI’s financial services sector, which accounts for roughly 60 percent of the territory’s annual revenue.

In a separate media release last week, the Premier said it was “non-negotiable” that the BVI will not impose public registers unless it becomes a global standard.

Non-negotiable: BVI will not impose unfair public registers

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47 Comments

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  1. Jonny says:

    Change the relationship at your (our!) peril. If there is another Irma who would we beg to come catch our escaped cons? China?

    • Why not says:

      Why not China or Russia or USA…UK is not all that. If they succeed in making the VI paupers,, China or Russia are viable possibilities in assisting us to rebuild our economy,

      • wink wink says:

        @ why not – take your meds & step away from the internet!!! You are clueless, go live in Russia of China then come let’s chat. What benefit would the BVI bring to any of them?

      • Dimwits says:

        Says it all about your attitude to the UK’s legislation that we will have to abide by to cut down money laundering and other dubious financial practices if to avoid it you’d sell your soul to the Devil….the love of money is the root of all evil and it has gotten a grip of too many in the BVI including most politicians and even a few pastors sadly. But by all means March to get into bed with China or Russia then and embrace communist capitalism and corruption on an even bigger scale than you know it now – but maybe that’s why it’s an attractive option for you “why not” !

      • Hmm says:

        China and russia would not be sensible options. Hong Kong which was given back to china from Britain prefered being british and would choose so if they had a choice. China is encroaching on them and there is protests going on over there…russia is not communist but it is far from a democracy….russians themselves hide money abroard…corrupt country just look at their president still in office after how many terms?. Usa that would be a more competent choice but the thing is….do you really think a country with 325 million people 3.6 million squares miles with a 19 Trillion dollar economy has a place 59 sq miles 30,000 people and a economy less than 1 billion dollars in the back of its mind? You guys really have no clue…..matter of fact go on google maps and look at the bvi and then zoom out….to get the real pictue.

    • Future man says:

      Without dem brits we culd buy us anotha airline! We culd build us a supasize runway for 747
      Everday would be da poker run. We culd use dem fast boats to transpot mo stuf. Dem boats culd do home deliveri and takes out. Why not turn Ginger Isle into a prisionerr colonies like arstralaugh? We don need no guards der… just drop sum food in by hellocopta. Dey ain gonna escape as da shark will get em.

      Who needs dem brits when u gots our big wit? Lez do are own Brexit ting. Let’s Brexit dem…

      • Lol says:

        Dummy why might not be able to use US currency if we leave but believe in what u want “future man”

        • Onething says:

          Not us money alone….loads of visas to go even usvi. The usvi dosent control its borders america does. We cant tell the usvi let us in…remember irma? Only us citizens allowed?

  2. Reality says:

    Wow bet they are worried! I think Brexit is far more important to them than your idle threats – clearly you will be. Returning from your all expenses paid trip with your tails between your legs? Go independent then if you don’t like it….

  3. King says:

    Go independent, break away so we’ll look just like Haiti in five years. Believe me these so called honorable ones would love that. No one looking over their shoulders. They don’t care about the little guy. No disrespect to Haitians but you can see where I’m coming from.

    • KnockKnock says:

      This mandate is the step the UK is taking to make us ” like Haiti” so we need to cut loose from them. They strangling us with the umbilical cord.

      • Haydn hughes says:

        Truth

        • Umad says:

          There is no way in this world the UK wants more responsibility for the BVI. This is something they are trying to get away from with all OTs. The attitudes such as thinking the UK is trying to take over or to do something bad to BVI doesn’t stand up to any scrutiny of logic.

          Outsiders remain shocked at how little the BVI has taken responsibility for its own rebuild and tidy up when much poorer nations have banded together to get stuff done. We can’t even get the work permit process right to get the economy moving forward.

  4. Enough says:

    Notwithstanding the constant harping on about the Brit’s wanting to take over the BVI, the opposite is true and if they were given the opportunity to get rid of us they would jump at the chance.

    • Hmmm says:

      Yea but they want us to be poor first.

      • Umad says:

        Why? That would make no sense.

      • Rubber Duck says:

        No they don’t because then the world would condemn them. They dont care how rich BVI is. It is a pinprick on an elephants leg compared the British economy and the economies of its trading partners.

        But the BVI does absolutely nothing for the UK and BVI has a worse reputation in the UK than North Korea does. And that’s before they know about the inhumane treatment of non belonger workers.

        The UK is not about to stand in the way of BVI independence.

        Which would turn the country not necessarily into Haiti but certainly into something like St Vincent.

        And don’t forget all the rich families would lose their British passports.

        And that isn’t going to happen.

        • Correction says:

          I’m rich and have a BVI passport and a US Passport. Never saw the need for a U.K. one. Actually happy and content that I don’t have one. What’s your point?

  5. Sam the man says:

    Guys I really hope you haven’t F….ked up yet again we are desperate to keep in good relations with the U.K. For their strategic support, money and ability to actually achieve things for our Islands unlike you two jokers that pounce about pretending to be the big politicians that you really aren’t …get back and actually do something that makes a difference and stop just talking about it…just F…Ing do it and stop making excuses…

  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    Hopefully neither of those two will be in power come 2020. We are not going independent with people who gave away the people’s money for a plane that never flew.

  7. Okay says:

    We appreciate their efforts.

  8. Drellon says:

    I has taken men with vision making wise decision to get her to this stage and this is not her finial page. These men are simply defending the rights of their county and i greatly conmend their unified effort in doing just that. Tell the Uk come fix the roads that mashing up our vehicles.

    • What rights? says:

      Defending what? Hahahahahahaha- check their track record before bleating out nonsense!The country in a horrible mess because of them two

  9. Devon says:

    They are all worried that we will soon see true transparity !

  10. Dimwits says:

    What have you 2 t— gone and done ? Just get back and concentrate on restoration of our islands and stop wasting our money and time wafting about pretending you are important…

  11. mahinda says:

    Diversify Investments

  12. Greg says:

    The EU (Globalist) want to control every aspect of commerce and are looking to obliterate any competition that’s why they want the names of investors.
    I’m glad to see the BVI is on to them.

  13. Sherlock says:

    To the fools commenting, Do you realize that financial services is our top revenue generator? We cannot survive without it unless something major and miraculous happens. Independence isn’t a great option but it maybe the only option in this case if we are forced to adopt the public BO register. If we lose financial services what are we going to do? Start manufacturing cars, sell garbage, mine for gold and silver, become a major exporter of fish and agricultural products. We don’t have the manpower or resources or even enough square miles to succeed. Are these reasonable ambitions for us to pursue, No! All we have is sun and sand and with Irma reducing tourism due to damaged infrastructure there is no way that tourism in the BVI doubles to make up for any major losses in financial services. Being in the industry and dealing with clients daily I know this is not an option the clients will be thrilled about.

    • Onething says:

      Yeah but go independant and watch the credit rating of the virgin islands nose dive and potential investors run away from an unstable country. Oh and you must not want to travel….thinking on going rock or miami or nyc? Visa in your clot..

  14. Maria Louisa Varlack says:

    Stupid British Virgin Islanders you need the UK Government for protection. The UK Government is only trying to help and to protect the BVI. The UK is not trying to destroy the BVI. Sign the ant-money laundering bill to prevent crime and destruction in the BVI. How stupid can you people be. If the BVI goes independent of the UK it would become the worst country in the Caribbean. The BVI is making bad matters worst for themselves. Comply with the UK government.

    • Follow the names! says:

      Comply! We want to see if our minister’s names appear on foreign owned companies that they selected for government paid for projects. What if …? Is it possible that they do? What if the register is back dated to disclose the last 20 years of names?

    • Hah says:

      To Maria, You drank the whole jug of Kool Aid! UK just trying to protect us? that might be the stupidest and most uniformed comment ever especially coming from someone that started off their comment by calling others stupid. Protect us from what? All the UK trying to do is keep the money in their country instead of having it in our offshore companies which by the way is totally legal by UK and BVI laws.

  15. Uncle Buck says:

    It has the look of a mouse giving the lions an ultimatum. This will ensure badly for only one party. And it ain’t the lions.

  16. Lodger says:

    I dont believe financial services will die completely if we have to show beneficial ownership. Plenty of overseas investors must be honest and are not tax avoiding or money laundering and wont mind their names being shown. Also many investors are from Russia and the Far East, not the EU, so no need to show their ownership.
    On the other hand, if we go independant, which the UK would love, overseas investors will leave us in droves because of the loss of protection.
    We need to be very careful about what actions we take.

    • Onething says:

      People are going off of emotions and the scare mongering…..becareful very careful…..decisions based on emotions are very unwise

  17. true says:

    To inform everyone, please pay attention as the first couple of lines in the story give you the answer as to wether this law will be passed, because as of yet IT IS NOT.

    The house of Lords who all have money stashed away in the BVI must pass this law into the law books, so its a non starter and everyone needs to stop getting their knickers in a twist!

    Parliament can put forward a new law, the House of Lords must pass it, if they choose not to then it can go to the Queens who also has plenty of money stashed away here in the BVI.,

    You heard it first here!!!

  18. Sister island awakening says:

    Think twice before matching for what they want… it’s going to backfire people. The main island has been so dependent on financial services to the point of neglecting other economic pillars… let those be our strengths… tourism… agriculture.. fishing … they’ve practically ruined their main island in the process without even realizing it … thank you for your negligence and nonchalance … the bite you’ve received from your own actions hurts doesn’t it ?
    I won’t march for such a cause.. perhaps the urgency with which current and opposing Government should give persons reason to pause and wonder … why? Is there something more than the people’s interest at stake here? They didn’t stand united to protect the interest of our young people, of our seniors, of victims and their families of burglars and murderers… but hmmm… the public registers .. really?

    Focus on making our families stronger, our churches more relevant (influential and useful), our disaster plans valid and known to the public prior to the next season, our public servants who are busting their behinds recognized and paid properly, our slackers who are supposedly public officers but never show up except at meetings and on the side run their own full time businesses while collecting full time Govt pay, focus on our schools, the Educ system and more.. I’ll march alright but for something other than what you folks are advocating

  19. ??? says:

    First thing we need to do is stop carrying their name. We are the Virgin Islands. We are not British. If they saw us as British they wouldn’t impose these rules on us and not themselves.

  20. BVI Born says:

    Let’s take a look at some in the headlines of the day –

    1.) C—– S—- —- – $570,000 Neighbourhood Education Project

    2.) Z– W———— – $100,000 Drag racing study

    3.) A— H— – $100,00 Financial Services Book

    4.) A—- F—- – $500,000 Medical School Study

    And those are the most prominent figures. What else would we find if Irma had not blown away so much?

    Are our memories that short?

  21. Priorities says:

    The march on Thursday should be for the restoration of the race track and horse racing, a new drag racing arena after the $100,000 report that the No Direction Party commissioned, the massive new runway expansion, multiple useless greenhouses to be built, new marijuana farms, multiple strip joints after the sleazy poker run and a roll out programme of the world class toilets at the pier park all over the island…never mind about sewage improvements, ruined buildings, piles of rubbish, no terminal at west end, blocked ghuts and drainage, unsafe roads etc – oh and resisting anti money laundering legislation from the UK so we can go independent – go “No Direction Party” you are leading us at breakneck speed to the cliff edge…..

  22. Avid Reader says:

    Independent!!

    OMG!

    LOL!

    Either we are allowed to let criminals launder their money in peace or we will go Independent.
    Is this really a bridge to die on?

  23. Onething says:

    If we go independant what makes you think that the financial services will be ok still? Suppose there is global transparency set up later in the future? What now?

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