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UK govt not asking OTs to ‘phase out’ Belongership status

UK Minister responsible for British Overseas Territories, Lord Tariq Ahmad. (BVI News Photo)

The UK government will not be setting a deadline for Overseas Territories (OTs) to phase out what has been described as ‘discriminatory elements’ of their Belongership status.

The British government gave that indication while responding to a series of recommendations from the UK’s House of Commons and its Foreign Affairs Committee this year.

One recommendation suggested that the UK government set a timetable outlining when OT’s should implement a policy that will allow UK citizens who are ‘legal residents’ of an OT the ability to vote and hold elected office in that territory.

“The FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) does not plan at a future date to publish such a timetable,” government responded in a recent May 2019 report titled ‘Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the relationship: Government response to the Committee’s Fifteenth Report’

The said government suggested that it acknowledges why small-island territories might be reluctant to relax its Immigration and election laws to that degree.

“We understand the OTs’ concerns, sensitivities and historical background on this issue,” the UK government said. “Our vision for the OTs is as vibrant and flourishing communities, with the widest possible opportunities for their people.”

It continued: “We expect territory governments to meet the same high standards as the UK government in maintaining the rule of law, respect for human rights and integrity in public life, delivering efficient public services, and building strong and successful communities.”

“We will continue to support and encourage consistent and open political engagement on Belongership and its territory-specific equivalents, whilst respecting the fact that Immigration decisions are primarily a matter for OT governments,” the British government further said.

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11 Comments

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  1. John says:

    The U.K. is no longer a Christian nation. Matter of fact, Christianity on a whole is on a decline in Europe and has been for years. It’s black people in the U.K. that is mostly practicing Christianity in the U.K. The people are a mix of black Caribbean and Africans. Then there is Islam. Only a small minority of white Brits are practicing Christians.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    “a policy that will allow UK citizens who are ‘legal residents’ of an OT the ability to vote and hold elected office in that territory” is a policy that will begin the gradual “local BVIslander” political control.

    Keeping it political simple for now., this is a clear in a series series of neo colonial reclamation steps by the UK in retaking and having full political and economic control of these islands.

    We had better wake up.

    It known what the scared and colonial symphatisers and afraid of the future will be blogging but, we had better stop being afraid of independence.

    That is going to be our only saving grace from the inevitable cookie monster who wants the cookie jar again for self.

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  3. The Truth says:

    Can we go to the UK and vote?

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    • island man says:

      Dont you all apply and obtain UK passport and become full British citizens, yes you could vote, and you have the same rights as these Brits, so did you think that was the end of it, they want the same privilege in your country as well.

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    • Rubber Duck says:

      Yes is the answer.

  4. Ausar says:

    This pronouncement reads so well!

    But does it really enhances the ability of BVIslanders to protect themselves politically?

    It does not, and that’s what’s so troubling!

    The Kingdom touts alot about equity, but there has never been a black or any other non-white governor ever appointed to any of its OT’s!

    Nor has the Kingdom ever appointed leadership in its cabinets from any of the OTs.

    If the Kingdom is truly serious about “fairness and equity for all”, then the Kingdom MUST be the ones to set the examples, up and to including reciprocity, for us all to follow!

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  5. Herbs says:

    For centuries they have had the foot on our necks.thanks to our forefathers we have manage to make a living for our self. They are slowly shoehorning us back into shape. Its going to be a length fight which our children’s children’s will have to send up fighting hence we must get them ready. Blessings.

  6. Just my 2 cents says:

    A very delicate issue indeed. As an oversea territory in the Caribbean, its imperative that we reconsider our position with other caribbean countries and heed the call for regional unity.

    This disunity and divisiveness amongst ourselves have plagued us dearly over the years, affording us not only a demised bargaining power as a region but perceived victims of modern day colonisation.

    Should we break ties with the UK seeking our right to self determination? May not be the best. Dont think we ready for independance.

    Do we want the UK to control or direct our policy and way of life? Certainly not but they have a right.

    Are we desirious of forming a united caribbean state and government? Might be the way to proceed but only time will tell. There was a famous mathematical equation some years aback… 1 from 10 = 0

    Sadly though, change is imminent and for which we must embrace and be prepared. I understand that there is fear…fear of losing our comfort or being imposed upon by a foreign will. But we have to be prepared and create a medium through which our future descendants will survive… Education, Nondiscrimation of our fellow caribbean brothers and sisters, and Cooperation.

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