Opposition leader Andrew Fahie believes the United Kingdom’s ‘public register’ controversy goes beyond political differences, as he and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith head to London today, May 14.
He has also called for prayers as they attend a series of meetings in relation to the UK parliament’s recent decision to impose public registers of beneficial ownership on the British Virgin Islands and other Overseas Territories.
Fahie said the present united front between himself and the Premier is to achieve a common goal.
“Given that this matter transcends politics and political parties, and given that this matter is a BVI matter and larger than any individual, political differences were put aside and our discussions centred on mutually agreed solutions that are in the best interest of the territory,” he said via a statement at the weekend.
“This effort is for all of us as one BVI people so that our ‘tomorrows’ can be better than our yesterdays,” he added.
In the meantime, Fahie said the BVI is not the only Overseas Territory whose leaders are uniting.
Government and Opposition Leaders from other Overseas Territories have also aligned and will travel to London to lobby the proposed public registers, which is an amendment under the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill,” he noted.
During a statement last week, Premier Smith said his government will not comply with the amendment until it becomes a global standard.
The amendment is forcing the BVI and other Overseas Territories to implement public registers that reveal the names of beneficial owners of offshore companies registered in those territories by the year 2020. The move is feared to have adverse effects on the local financial services industry.
Meanwhile, the Premier and Fahie are expected to return from their UK visit on Saturday, May 19.
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