BVI News

UK decides not to partially suspend BVI constitution

Governor John Rankin and Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley

Governor John Rankin has just announced that the United Kingdom (UK) has decided not to impose a partial suspension of the BVI’s constitution and has accepted the National Unity Government’s proposal on how to implement the other recommendations outlined in the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report.

This means the BVI’s elected officials have been given the opportunity to continue governing through the House of Assembly without Britain imposing direct rule over the territory.

Since the publication of the COI report, Governor Rankin and the UK government has been having talks with Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley and his administration. And according to Rankin, all parties agreed that a fundamental shift in governance in the BVI is required.

As such such, he said the focus of the aforesaid talks rested on whether the Government of National Unity should lead the reforms or an interim Governor-led administration should be established. 

“Last week, following discussions, the Government of National Unity submitted a final proposal to the UK Government outlining, with clear timelines, how they will deliver the COI recommendations but without the need for a temporary partial suspension of the Constitution,” Rankin said. 

“I can inform you this morning that UK Ministers have agreed to the proposal submitted by the Government of National Unity. The Premier and Government of National Unity have shown the will and commitment to improve governance in the BVI and therefore it is right that elected officials here should have the opportunity to implement the COI recommendations,” the Governor continued. 

Rankin said he was pleased the Government of National Unity has made its firm commitment to carry out far-reaching reforms, including going beyond the COI report, to fix the failings of governance and he welcomed the detailed plan the government has set out to implement the COI recommendations. 

“I also recognise that the Premier has demonstrated his commitment by making a number of changes already. Many more difficult decisions will be required to make the deep and systemic changes necessary to improve governance in the BVI and much hard work will be required,” the Governor said. 

UK could still impose direct rule if gov’t shirks commitments

Though the UK has opted not to do a temporary takeover, Governor Rankin said accepting the BVI government’s proposals came with certain conditions.

“I and the UK government want the Government of National Unity to succeed in making these changes and delivering the COI recommendations. But the UK government has a responsibility to the people of the BVI to make sure that happens. To ensure these commitments are kept, the proposal therefore contains several conditions surrounding implementation,” he added. 

Governor Rankin said the proposal contains a set of strict delivery milestones that must be adhered to. These include regular public updates with each government ministry and their departments providing monthly delivery reports. 

“I will formally assess progress every three months before sending a quarterly update to the Foreign Secretary. This will continue throughout the full period of COI implementation, which is estimated to be two years,” Rankin said. 

“If the Government of National Unity, or any subsequent government, fails to deliver any of the milestones without reasonable justification, or I assess that progress is being frustrated in any way, the UK Government and I will take action to protect the interests of the people of the BVI,” he added. 

The actions include continuing the option of temporarily suspending the House of Assembly and Cabinet, with a temporary Governor-led Interim Administration assisted by an Advisory Council, to drive forward the implementation of any outstanding recommendations. 

“The UK government has put in place the framework to do this through an Order in Council. This is the procedural order put before the Privy Council of the UK which is required to make changes to the Constitution of the BVI. This will allow the Foreign Secretary to swiftly provide me with the powers needed to take corrective action if progress against the milestones is unsatisfactory,” Rankin said. 

“If the government of the BVI delivers on the commitments and promises they have made, then the Order in Council will be kept in reserve and will not need to be used. In the meantime, I will continue to work constructively in partnership with the Premier and his Government in what I believe is a fair and balanced approach,” the Governor continued. 

The Governor said he welcomed the Premier’s commitment to take the measures needed to implement change. He also thanked the people of the territory for their calm and measured response during recent turbulent and challenging times. 

“I know that most people of the BVI are honest, hard-working, and caring. The reputation of the British Virgin Islands sits on the shoulders of these individuals, and not on the small minority who wish to profit at their expense,” Governor Rankin said. 

 

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57 Comments

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  1. Sweeuhhhh!! says:

    I was about to say who will I rent my building to at these rates………

    • Well says:

      Well the Brits once again f..cked things up. Now the criminals can continue without any qualms and the corruption will be more intensive then in the past. There are those in the Unity Government including the self appointed Premier that needs to be investigated. They going to investigate themselves. The UK should reimburse all monies spent on this shit show COI to the Territory and take the useless Governor and overseas minister and find them positions with Boris.

      Like 14
      Dislike 4
  2. Rubber Duck says:

    Those considering investment in the BVI should understand that the UK just announced that it has no further interest in the BVI and will be out as soon as possible.

    No one can blame them but the economic impact, starting with finance , is going to be severe.

    Like 37
    Dislike 13
    • SMH says:

      Rubber Duck you are a sick individual. 30 years now people like yourself have been making death announcements for the BVI and here we stand. We aren’t going anywhere, there’s work to do and we will do it! Where you’re from is no better than the BVI that is why you are here!! Anyone with half a brain knew full well that the UK were not going to take over anything, that was only included in the COI Report as an alarm that Government needs to get on with fixing things and most people are in agreement with the proposed changes to how things are done. If you are waiting to see the BVI sink don’t hold your breath because you will surely sink first.

      Like 13
      Dislike 5
      • Rubber Duck says:

        So you think a corrupt drug dealing Premier is a sign all is well? Members of the HOA taking millions to achieve nothing is fine? An 18th century corrupt and ineffiicient civil service trating people like dirt is OK with you?

        well it probably all is if you are one of the ruling elite living off the backs of others. And it sounds like you are.

        Like 4
        Dislike 1
    • @Rubber says:

      You are totally correct. The USVI will continue to flourish, record Tourism, record Real Estate sales, multiple fine dining and yachting destinations and the BVI will continue to decline. Welcome back CSC and Fat Albert. No need to hide. BVI is open to corruption as usual.

      Like 16
      Dislike 10
  3. resident says:

    This was the best decision, hold their feet to the fire and make them adhere to these changes or else

    Like 23
    Dislike 5
  4. Hard working citizen says:

    The people do not trust the existing legislation! I know I don’t! As far as I am concerned they are and will be complicit with any criminal activities that they find in the investigations!

    There are still Directors of Government Departments not releasing tenders properly and misusing their budgets!

    The people should have had a say in whether the UK took over or not. I am sure the votes would be in the UK’s favor.

    I hope this is the right move for my home the BVI

    Like 37
    Dislike 4
  5. W.E. Man says:

    No surprises here, I hope a few are happy, I am not. I consider the FCDO is once again abdicating and shirking there responsibilities to good governance.

    Like 15
    Dislike 6
  6. Crazy Joe says:

    Dont stop the Carnival.

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  7. Resident says:

    This decision must have been taken in London. It is mad. It abandons the majority honest residents, Permanent Residents, Belongers and BVI Islanders to more incompetence, corruption and serious organised crime.

    Without a partial suspension of the constitution no real change will occur. The decision completely underestimates the degree of obstruction we will see, and which which will frustrate the so called reforms being implemented.

    The Brits will be incapable of deploying the level of scrutiny and control required to make changes actually happen. The corrupt ruling cabal survives to keep going as before. Goodbye respected offshore financial centre, hallo Haiti. The UK needs to be ashamed of itself. If I was the Governor I’d resign before delivering a cop out like that.

    Like 36
    Dislike 13
    • 007 says:

      This will have passed across Johnsons desk. He would give it 20 seconds of attention. He will see the BVI as of zero importance and zero benefit to the UK. But an ongoing PITA and embarrassment with its drug baron premier, tax evasion reputation and crooked government.

      Why do we need them he will have asked. Surely its time to let them go their own way.

      And that is what has been decided.

      Like 17
      Dislike 3
      • @007 says:

        Most of you are upset because you thought the UK would come in here, take over and give every UK Citizen free Belonger status and free reign in the BVI. This is all this is about, you are upset because this is OUR Territory and you have to adhere to OUR RULES. You do not think we deserve to live the life that we are living but eat your heart out, we will continue to rule our destiny and develop our beautiful Islands.

        Like 8
        Dislike 16
    • Ingrid says:

      You are so stupid that you need to pack up, leave and go to Haiti. Tet Papúa!

      Like 5
      Dislike 5
    • Predictable says:

      Classic response from BoJo’s govt. BVIs has nothing in the way of political value over there. It appears to have given up any interest in trying to get things sorted out here. It’ll be handy to learn Spanish to better serve the narco state we’re about to become.

      Like 20
      Dislike 4
  8. Some big parties... says:

    for the ruling elites tonight.

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  9. In 10 years ... says:

    …the UK will be out of the BVI. It will be an independent narco state who citizens will be welcome nowhere. Zimbabwe of the Caribbean.

    Like 18
    Dislike 8
  10. Wi**ock says:

    Boy! We just like Fahie on bail!

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  11. Lone Ranger says:

    No option would have been the right one…most BVI Islanders & Belongers do not want a direct UK rule and for the rest of us (residents etc) there is little faith left in those elected officials that remain…or will remain…so no option would have passed the test.

    The question is, with the choice now made, will those that remain to get the job done work together in an honest and transparent way to get the recommendations implemented and clean up shop…or will it just go back to business as usual…guess we will see.

    Like 16
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  12. Sword of Damocles says:

    is now hanging over the temporary HOA and the slow temporary Premier. Screw up this once in a lifetime opportunity and all their power trip political careers are dead!

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  13. Unbelievable says:

    I knew the brits would back off. They are p*$$!35. The crooks win!

    Like 11
    Dislike 5
  14. Great Job Unity... says:

    Now…PLEASE dont screw it up. We have been given a chance and (YOU) will be closely watched…by us ALL.
    Clean up, cut back, weed out…lets get this ship back on course!

    Like 10
    Dislike 6
    • Bright Side says:

      Well look at the bright side, at least this means we will not have to endure anymore false pastors telling us BS. They will now keep their warped views to the morons who actually call them pastors………

    • Licker and Sticker says:

      I can’t wait to vote them out the first chance I get. They are representing the crooks that got us where we are. [email protected] em!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oooohhhhh wwhhaaattt a rreeelieffff!!!!!!!!!

    Lord, the stress and anxiety are gone, at least for now..

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  16. Hmmm says:

    We have been closely watching. BVI people watched all before??!!!!!! What you think saying you gonna be watching again will make a difference??????. I hate to hear some of you dumb s82828282bs with the same old tired rhetoric….,

    • its different this time... says:

      UK will be watching as well. Governor will be on their asses. BVI was shaking in fear with direct rule threat and will not forget that so easily you dumb s828282bs!! 🙂

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
  17. WW3 says:

    I bet Fahie walks free next. This will not surprise me one bit. Thus, this news just floor me.

  18. 0% says:

    SAD. Words cannit express what I personally feel. The UJ has thrown us to the wolves.

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  19. British guile says:

    Governor has ihis Marshal Petain collaborator’s rather than a collaboration.

  20. Truth says:

    Thou I’m no fan of politicians, I would like to commend the Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley and his team for moving as quick as they did to avoid the partial suspension of the BVI’s constitution. I hope this will begin a transformation of change for better governance and accountability. God Bless these Virgin Islands.

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  21. Laughing says:

    The Brits are upset and blogging like crazy because they expected the BVI to be taken over and they would have free reign and access to our lands. No way we would’ve stood by and let the UK take over and they were smart enough to realize we are not TCI. The people that are upset do not care about the BVI, they only cared about what a UK takeover would look like i.e. locals cast aside and they would step in. Not happening!!

    Like 5
    Dislike 9
  22. resident says:

    Good move by all now lets get all these reforms in place

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  23. TurtleDove says:

    Rankin said he was pleased the Government of National Unity has made its firm commitment to carry out far-reaching reforms, including going beyond the COI report, to fix the failings of governance and he welcomed the detailed plan the government has set out to implement the COI recommendations.

    The people would like to know what these reforms are as well. We would also like to be informed of the progress. We hope this is successful but you cant blame people from pulling their hands off a hot stove.

    I hope he is smart enough to bring in some young educated people and work with the Governor to right this sinking ship.

    Good Luck!

  24. Walk Away says:

    Some pigs are yet to be caught, so the watering hole is made to look calm and or vacated! They will be caught because enough is not part of their vocabulary. A man who is trampled by an elephant is a man who is blind and deaf.

  25. Bobby says:

    Now Dr. Wheatley will pretend to implement the COI changes; conflict with the Governor/UK will emerge; and then there would be a big push for BVI independence.

  26. Serious says:

    Typical UK and USA response in this current day and age is to bow to the mob and kick the can down the road.
    Pathetic, but predictable.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  27. `BVI says:

    THIS IS A VICTORY FOR US…THEM WHITE AND ISLAND PEOPLE ARE VERY DISAPPOINTED RIGHT ABOUT NOW

    Like 6
    Dislike 15
  28. The Liberator says:

    The one man gang opposition Fraser will be the one to keep the government in check and he wont let us down.

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  29. Barry say you will hear says:

    Marlon, Shawonde, Ronnie and Julian will all say it was their idea……LOL

  30. Licker and Sticker says:

    The only person who lost was the BVI ppl. Slow Wande has a job and the Unity Clowns have theirs. The UK gets a puppet to push around in Slow Wande and this administration. Yet we saw no proposal during the acceptance phase ie the ppl are supposed to swallow what Slow Wande gives. [email protected] them!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  31. Roger Burnett says:

    The end game of Colonialism is for colonialists – when it is to their convenience – to abandon the land they have colonised and leave the people to manage themselves. This is what the BVI appears to coming to.

    Then, as with other small island Caribbean states that have sought independence, a more despicable colonial power steps into the picture.

    In the meantime, the island’s privileged families continue to look after their own.

  32. Rope says:

    to hang themselves.

    Where is this proposal?
    Why has it not been released IN FULL to us?

    The people want accountability and transparency; where is it?

    NOW is the time to march.

  33. BVIslander says:

    The UK knew the silent majority would have spoken out had it decided to impose direct rule. The majority of bvislanders, very influential ones were and still against direct rule. Believe me, I listen to persons closely and I can tell you.

    Like 5
    Dislike 13
  34. NO WAY says:

    The UK has turned their back on the BVI, God help us.

    Like 8
    Dislike 4
  35. Solution says:

    UK can make some money by just selling the BVI to the USA. Denmark sold their Danish VI colony to the USA in 1917 and it became the USVI. Due to the latest scandals the price of the BVI has plummeted so USA could get a good deal if they act fast! Alternatively China might be another prospective buyer if the US passes on this once in a lifetime deal. China already has experience taking over former British colonies, like Hong Kong back in 1999.

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  36. snuffalupagus says:

    Some of you sound upset. Some of you have lost faith. Serves you right. Support unity. Unity is strength.

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  37. @ Solution says:

    What are you smoking? Do you see those little men running around on the walls? Why don’t you sell yourself to one of them. IDIOT.

  38. Lol says:

    They get extra rope to hang them selves which I think they will and then strategically the Brits will just swoop in and take control because these idiots can’t handle their positions!!!

  39. Time Will Tell says:

    What a mess! The clueless green team that created the mess is being given another chance to police themselves and clean up the mess they created. Can you beat that?
    Or is is that they are being given a long(er) rope to continue to hang themselves?
    Grandma always used to say that you don’t put rat to mind cheese.
    Just like when they found a way around the Protocols for Effective Financial Management by splitting up contracts. Before the dust settles they will be at it again, finding crafty ways to circumvent the various controls to be instituted as they try to bring about accountability, honesty and transparency. Just a matter of time before the greedy paws reach out once again.
    And those wolves who have fleeced the people by hanging on to the gravy train? They will soon be laughing their way back to the banks with ill-gotten profits from underhand deals.
    Those jokers in charge are all guilty of putting us in the state we are in – some betrayed us by their silence and by not standing up against the big bully, others by dipping their fat paws in the honey pot through the years. The dictatorship ain’t done yet. Ignoring the people and leaving us out of the equation – again. Same game, same players minus the one who outsmarted himself.
    The needy will continue to suffer while the greedy help themselves to what the poor taxpayers will have to fork up.
    Dem for real? A set of inexperienced ‘leaders’ being given more slack? Why? Barry say you will hear!

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  40. Sambo says:

    The Sambos, especially some at the Christian Council that attended a meeting Governor Ranking and Minister Amanda Milling at Government House (Mount Olympus), must be crying rivers of tears, kissing up and stepping and fetching for the colonialists who had hearty laughs at their minstrel performance. It was a performance.

    Nonetheless, there is nothing here to jump for great joy about. You don’t have to trust me. Read the Unity Government agreement with the UK. The Governor is the BIG DOG. It is direct rule without suspending the constitution. The Governor has control and oversight for implementing all of the CoI recommendations in 24 months. And direct rule is a hammer to be used if you don’t do what I say. Undoubtedly, the Governor will be employing his reserved powers. The BVI has a number of needs to implement the CoI but anyone thinks the UK, the Administering Power, will pony up any resources?

    Since the agreement between the Unity Government and the UK binds follow on government, if any, a general election should be held as soon as possible and practical. A government with a longer tenure is needed to implement the recommendations.

    Clearly, the constitution has many democratic deficiencies that needs fixing. The Constitutional Review Committee needs to get to work. The people must get the chance through a referendum to determine what political status it wants, ie, a)stay as an OT, b) pursue independence, c)free association, d)integration or e) some other option.

    The people seem to be left out, pawns, in this chess game. The Christian Council met with Governor Rankin and Minister Amanda Milling yet the people have not been briefed on the discussion. The Unity Government engineered an agreement with the UK but the people is only seeing it after the fact. The Unity Government gets an “F” for its action. This cannot continue; the people must be engaged. The BVI people keeping letting themselves be treated like mushrooms (kept in the dark); they must get animated, show up, speak up, and demand answers. As earlier generations of Virgin Islanders have done when commissioners tried to put their thumb on the scale of freedom, rights, etc the people push back. It seems like the 1940s, for the more things change, they stay the same. I saw a Facebook posting today on history repeating itself in the BVI. Check it out.

  41. Undercover Observer says:

    The Unity Government hands were tied behind its back. It was/is engaged in a chess game where it only has pawns; and the UK still has its queens, bishops, knights, and rooks on the board. It is checkmate; the BVI was toast. It was Gulliver against the Lilliputians. The BVI amateurs were out gunned/outmatched by a seasoned UK diplomatic team. Seasoned diplomats know that time is crucial in any negotiation, so they compressed the time, forcing a weaker team to fold. The BVI was not a formidable negotiator. The UK, the Administering Power, with unilateral power against BVI, an OT. It was lights out and good night for the BVI.

    This is an appeasement and coercion agreement between the BVI and the UK that occurred in secrecy. In a representative democracy, how and why was the people, the major stakeholders, left out of the discussions and negotiations? The people definitely should have had buy in. What were the UK demands on the table? What were the BVI demands? Did the BVI cave and just appease?

    The UK got everything it wanted out of the negotiations, if there were any negotiations at all. The CoI was clearly one- sided but the UK concurred with Sir Gary Hickinbottom’s findings and recommendations. Governor John Rankin got easy concurrence from the Unity Government; a pause was put on suspending the constitution and imposing direct rule. It is being held in abeyance as a sledge hammer to get compliance. It is definitely direct rule without the suspending the constitution.

    A general election should be held as soon as possible and practical, and rolling out the Constitutional Review Committee must get into action now. Further, there are 40+ recommendations force fed into 24 months. That seems like a heavy lift; the implementation plan was alarmingly streamlined. The recommendations should be phased into priority bands. The implementation plan will require resources that the VI is starved of. Did not Premier Wheatley say last week that revenue intake was insufficient to meet basic operational needs and the BVI was facing potential bankruptcy? Is the UK going to provide grant money? I doubt that. Is it going to provide reparations? What did Jaspert say on that. The BVI is on its own. It may have to borrow to meet its needs? The UK will be like big brother watching, dictating what should be done but will not provide any resources. The BVI people cannot go into hibernation, for the battle for the BVI freedom, human rights, self-determination has just began.

  42. BACKSIDES says:

    Anything that is designed to loosen the strangle hold on our people’s psyche is always rejected by these news sites. The day is coming when they will be put away. NOTHING CAN STOP THE TIME.

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