BVI News

Why is it ok for UK to break from EU but not for BVI to break from UK?

Fourth District Representative Mark Vanterpool has said he believes there is a stigma that exists against the territory becoming independent.

While debating in favour of the territory receiving a constitutional review, Vanterpool said on Tuesday he is “baffled” why residents still do not believe the BVI can govern itself.

“Our people believe that we can’t determine and manage ourselves. This word independence has some kind of stigma and has some kind of stain on it that everybody gets frightened and says, ‘independence? You going to put us in bondage?’”

“In here (the House of Assembly) we are dodging around it again talking about self-determination. Independence is no longer what people thought of independence before. There’s no country that is independent anymore. We must all depend on ourselves. We have all kinds of treaties, all kinds of agreements set up to work together, there’s no more independence,” Vanterpool reasoned.

BVI labelled as villains for wanting independence

The Opposition legislator also said a double standard exists when it comes to the BVI wanting political freedom from the United Kingdom.

“What is baffling to me about colonialism is that the great United Kingdom felt that they were under a burden of something called the European Union, and they fought and battle to get out. But when we raise our heads to try to get out from what we are under, we are villains,” he argued.

“When we raise our head and say we don’t want nobody in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office telling us how much money we should spend and how much money we should borrow, and how much road we should build, and where we should go, when we raise our head and say that, we are demons.”

Scorned in 2013 for calling for independence

Vanterpool also recalled an incident back in 2013 when he suffered victimisation after speaking in favour of the BVI pursuing political independence.

He said: “I went with my ‘fastness’ to say that we need to be believing in ourselves that we can run our own country and we can manage ourselves … I was surprised the next day I get so much calls, and so much ‘cuss outs’. I went into a shell for a little while.”

Independence a dangerous thing

A day earlier during the said constitutional debate, government minister Vincent Wheatley said the BVI pursuing independence would be a “a very dangerous thing”.

He named Haiti as an example to justify why the BVI should not seek independence at this time, but instead should pursue greater ‘self-governance’.


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  1. Sad says:

    The House of Parliament didn’t vote to leave the EU, the people did, all this talk about independence, the mechanism for independence is in the constitution. Put it to referendum and let the people decide not just the 13 of you.

    Just the other day you used Putin as a example for term limits, that’s sad cause Putin recently made himself president for life.

    You talked about JVD and Anegada having its own representative, sir you are all talk, the current constitution provides such provisions which only require a 2/3 majority vote in the HOA which your NDP government had 11G vs 2O.

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    • obvious says:

      The BVI cannot govern itself. To much unfairness, greed, cronyism and everyone hands is to sticky

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    • Please says:

      Please become independent. The U.K. would love not having to deal with you lazy, corrupt and racist Belongers. Fend for yourselves. Let’s see how that works out. Your entire economy depends on the white man. Financial sector the white offshore accounts. Tourism the white tourists. Keep this crap up and you will all die. Please declare independence tomorrow.

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      • Bro says:

        all white men don’t think alike or like you.

        For example, during the lynching years in America, as many white men and women were lynched for supporting Black freedom, as there were Blacks that died at the rope. No, not every white is racist, racst.

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    • @sad says:

      You are absolutely correct when you said that it was the people of the UK who voted for referendum and that it was not the government’s decision alone – they acted for the people. However, what Vanterpool is not alluding to is the UK government never really told the people the whole truth about what they were bargaining for when they voted for independence and that subsequent poles shows that most are now against departing from the EU that for leaving. It’s time politicians stop saying only what they think people want to hear just so they get their way and start telling people the truth about things so they are not voting blind for something because at the end of the day it is the ordinary man who is going to suffer and not the politicians who will be able to steal blind from the people with no oversight!
      When ministers stop acting like they voted themselves into office maybe you guys could convince people that you have their best interest at heart and not lining your own pockets!

  2. What!!!! says:

    Nonsense, you are comparing apples to oranges the two things you are referring to are totally different.

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  3. Earl says:

    He keeps talking all kind of crap !
    The BVI is free to go independent whenever it chooses.
    If it is not going to be in the near future haven’t you all got more pressing current issues to be getting on with ?
    It is starting to look like this Government is floundering for a way forward and are trying to make themselves look busy at work !

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    • @Eart says:

      You are so right!
      It looks like the ministers are suffering from a “trump syndrome” – not taking responsibility for what is going wrong in the country but looking to distract by bringing up new issues. They can’t invest in more high schools to avoid the overcrowding at the current high school but they can invest in growing mariguana , can’t ensure qualified BVIslanders and Belongers get jobs when they return from studying but are happy to keep issuing new work permits to fill positions not even advertised on island! I can go on and on – take care of your business now before calling for new responsibilities!

  4. Of course not says:

    The BVI cannot govern itself. To much unfairness, greed, cronyism and everyone hands is to sticky.

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  5. Lol says:

    Remember mark is an Island man. Do not listen to this man about his independence crusade. Mark just want to be able to dip his hand in the cookie jar without accountability. Set of …

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  6. Rattley says:

    The belongers don’t want independence. If the BVI was independent What would the country be called? It’s only relevant because it’s British. It would be just as “down island” as Dominica or St. Vincent.

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    • What? says:

      It would be called it’s name. The Virgin Islands. The name on the Passport. People only call it the BVI to differentiate it from the Danish West Indies (USVI)

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      • Correction says:

        That’s not true. I call my country British because it’s British, not because it’s not US. W/hy doesn’t St. Thomas change to just Virgin Islands?

    • @Rattley says:

      And so much getting independence did to Dominica and St Vincent. Just as ‘island’ people are flocking to BVI so BVI will be flocking to America or wherever else they go, when they get independence and see what independence brings!

  7. Just saying says:

    We may be able to govern ourselves if you think so but. Can we sustain ourself we are bragging about population sizes but look what happened during these last few years… are we able to protect ourselves, defend our shores, Or feed ourselves without the services of the great America. Yes it is true that we don’t depend much on our parent country but…We don’t produce much- aside from ignorance; in large quantity I might add. We do not have any discipline as a nation how can we have order and with absence of our own army of disciplined individuals performing as a functioning unit I am hoping that we learn how to make agriculture a stronger pillar So that we can feed ourselves without outside help and influences- or getting the below standard foods that cause us to behave in these dysfunctional ways or pose threat to our health, in order make ourselves more self sustainable before even attempting to utter the words independence

    I agree that we can use some more autonomy however independence is a whole “nudder” kettle of fish!

    Rectify these things before talking “independence”

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  8. mmmario says:

    Mr. Vanterpool the answer is easy. IT’s because you guys don’t have the Cojones to do it.

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    • @mmmmario says:

      Mr. Vanterpool the answer is easy, go back to Anguilla w your ideas. But while you here put back we money in the treasury

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  9. A true Vislander says:

    We all are island men.we live on tiny islands in the middle of the ocean. The UK were a nation way before any EU existed. They joined in 1973 for economic corporation after WW2.
    There are strength together as a nation that have respect around the globe. You wish to go on your own and then five to ten years China happen. They won’t care about human rights nor any self determination.they will disregard any of that and you’ll wish you had Britain to hold them off from taking over your new country. Independence in this e4a isn’t worth the hassle.

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    • A true Vislander says:

      I recently learned all that you are saying. The bit about China and their disregard for human rights is something to pay attention to and learn more about.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly! Think about it for a minute or for a month if you wish: China is a Communist Society regardless of what economic strength they’ve gotten over the recent years.The world will have issues with China.

        Can you imagine the Caribbean in an era like that when China can’t get its way? The BVI as an OT being apart of Britain will do better being under th UKG umbrella.

        Many of those independent country thinkers travel but they seem to only be astonish by the tall buildings of London, New York or Miami,etc. They don’t really know what’s going on otherwise.

        The UK mainland have a few issues but it’s where everyone want to move to. If it wasn’t a place you can become prosperous then they wouldn’t want to come here.I wouldn’t have been here either. This is the land of endless opportunities if you apply yourself properly.It’s even easier of you’re coming from an OT as you’re already a citizen.I’ve been to many other places in the world.I know what i’m talking about.The BVI and AXA and TCI,etc need to fully plug in to overhere and they’ll see the true benefits of being a part of this great nation of ours.

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  10. NOT says:

    The BVI is not responsible or capable to Govern themselves.

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  11. mmmario says:

    The BVI cannot govern itself says “of course not”. What a thing. I didn’t know the BVI had so much incompetence greed and sticky fingers. How could this be possible. I love the BVI…..What is going on with Nature Litle Secret?

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  12. Busy Bee says:

    Everybody wants to bandy about the word “Independence”… Skelton-Cline is all over it like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Why doesn’t the Assembly call for a plebiscite? Let’s vote on it! We can have a campaign and the pro-independence lot can put their case to the people. Simple and fair.

  13. Laura says:

    Ole people always say: Be careful what you wish for!!

    But it would be prudent if the politicians of the day would be clear on the FACTS, not assumptions..the UK/EU and BVI/UK are two entirely different not be swayed by the politicians that want ALL but do nothing to ensure that the PEOPLE of this country are able to have or even access it all too! Sad times ahead… #prayersupformyBVI#

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  14. Really says:

    To many sticky fingers is in the JELLY BEANS JAR FIGHTING TO PICK OUT THE GREEN JELLY BEANS ONLY. They want to Govern themselves so they can have control to do as they please with the monies and not having to be accountable or answer to anyone.

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  15. concern says:

    Have a look at what is happening in Guyana in their 2020 elections where the losing party refuses to give up power. Have a look at St Kitts/Nevis in their 2020 elections where they refused to allow UN election observers in the country to observe that the elections would be fair. Democracy seems to be under threat in those countries. Do we want that?
    Spend time figuring out how to Improve the quality of life for all the people so that they can thrive within the current system and stop the silly talk about independence.

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    • Curios says:

      Just to let you know that no declarations were done in Guyana’s 2020 elections that indentifed a winner. So, get your facts straight before you peddle misinformation.

  16. Go for it says:

    The only BVI has going for it is nice beaches and the Caribbean sea.

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  17. Free Thinker says:

    It’s interesting to see the slaves thinking that their fellow slave who is a representative have power to change things on the plantation.

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    • It says:

      is interesting to see the grandsons of slave owners still looking down on the offspring of slaves with grave discontent and rancor.

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  18. Corruption says:

    You see how Trump trying to delay US elections and dictate everything in his favour at the expense of people’s lives…the BVI has already been on a similar path…let’s not make it any worse than it already is…we have a lot that has gone unaddressed …don’t add to the corruption.

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  19. politican says:

    mark shut up you do not know whst you are saying do we have the things the EU has yes burst away from the Eu but let something happen inthe bvi where will you be you will run go anguilla which higher power will help us boss shut up with your stupid talk

  20. Comments says:

    Whenever Mark speaks I always read the comments first and Mark’s words next. Most of the time I don’t even need to read his words after reading the comments! Today is one of those times.

    Like 10
  21. fbi says:

    mark stop your useless noise, how now all of a sudden you blowing all these hot air, why dont you breakaway from the uk, all nonsense talk,

  22. A true VIslander says:

    To my fellow BVIslanders, there are 10 times the benefits of remaining a part of this great nation than going it alone.

    The benefits I keep talking about we are seeing and experiencing everyday living in our towns and cities across the UK mainland. Those advantages aren’t extended to the territories because they weren’t being sorted after or because the OTs aren’t within the UK’s Common Market. With closer links to overhere, there will be numerous benefits across all OTs no matter where they are located.

    No person can sit there and say it’s opinions or false because they are not overhere to see what a BVIslander is talking about on a daily basis.Everything here is cheaper than in the territories except sneakers.
    Many of those things can be extended to the territories also if business persons and Territorial MPs are sent to the UK House of Commons to present their cases whenever Parliament is in session.

    Every territory can have as much say over local issues like they are doing now but the missing link is the link to London; being a part of the Nation in full.

    Don’t be jaded by all the independence naysayers. The rest of the world will have a huge problem trying to balance things with China being the Super Power it will be.Can you imagine being a small country in the middle of the ocean like OTs are? China will run right through and there won’t be anyone or anything to stop them if Britain,France or the USA is out of their respective territories picture to have their backs.

    You can currently live and work not only within the UK but all across the EU. You can travel to about 165 foreign nations across the world visa free.Why would anyone leave that to have a passport that will only give them about 20 visa free or less.You’ll need a visa to enter the USA and territories also. Does Independence seems like a great idea like some are making it to be? No it isn’t!

    Some may say the UK has left the EU and visa free access will be lost.Not according to the trade talks as of currently. This country will still end up with full access to the EU Common Market so there’s no point saying we’ll be out the EU.

    This is one of the reasons you’ll always be many times safer with this nation and even better if you’ll be an equal part of the UK like Wales and Northern Ireland is.

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  23. Lmao says:

    We do not want no EC money. That thing is useless.Monopoly money ??

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  24. X says:

    Honestly, why are we afraid of independence? It might be a scary thought, but trust me we will figure it out. 186 years since slavery was abolished and we were left to fend for ourselves, we should have already bee on our own. Don’t use leadership as an excuse. We are the ones who elect them, but don’t hold them accountable.

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    • @X says:

      Are you serious?!! We will figure out independence? Just like the UK is still figuring out leaving the EU?! You make me laugh! At least the UK has things to bargain with and is very likely to retain some very important links with the EU. Can you say the same of the BVI? OMG – we will figure it out! can’t stop laughing!! You people are beyond ignorant!

  25. Jane says:

    Of course BVI should be independent. The UK would be truly grateful if the people here decide to do so. There are many brilliantly talented BVislanders who could lead these islands to an even better future BUT those BVIslanders arent in the grubby business of politics. It is the corrupt and greedy who are. That is the problem. Until there is a significant cultural shift toward transparency and integrity then independence will be a bad idea. Time to grow up and take a long hard look in the mirror at what stares back and it isnt pretty: the xenophobia, the racism, the nepotism and corruption. Fix these things and independence will be an amazing step forward.

  26. E. Leonard says:

    As a non-self-governing territory, the VI under UN charter is entitled to self-determination, including independence, free association, mergers, associated statehood………etc. The UK cannot stop the VI from pursuing independence if the majority of Virgin Islanders so desire. The people should determine through a referendum if they want independence or some other political status.

    The VI sister OT Bermuda held an independence referendum on 16 August 1995; Bermudians voted 74% in favor of staying an OT. On 7 November 2002, Gibraltar voters voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to reject shared sovereignty rule by the UK and Spain. On 15 September 2014, Scotland voted in a referendum to stay part of the UK. The VI needs to settle the independence anxiety by holding a referendum. Independence question settled, the territory needs to laser focus on its continued growth, development and sustainability.

    Moreover, though the VI is entitled to pursue political independence, in my opinion, the VI needs to attain some relative economic independence before pursuing political independence. Further, the VI has a myriad of challenges it must address before independence,eg, social, institution, environmental, economical, political………etc. In the interim, the VI needs to pursue more autonomy.

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  27. Rubber Duck says:

    The UK foolishly allowed a vote on it. BVI could do the same,

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  28. Hairy Harry says:

    What happened to his head?

  29. SMFH!! says:

    The fact that he is asking such an asinine question and making this comparison is all the reason we need NOT to go independent and give these loons power over us. Unbelievable!

  30. Truth says:

    Why is it ok for UK to break from EU but not for BVI to break from UK?”
    Because our politicians are interbred and corrupt.

    Next question?

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  31. W.E Man says:

    Before we decide to go independent from our mother country, we need to make sure our territory is functioning with internal checks and balances that the international community expect from a country with financial services representing more than half of our national income. Otherwise we will loose the income and the quality of life we have all worked so hard for.

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  32. VIslander Always says:

    What are some people upset with Britain about really? They stopped the territory from robbing itself blind by putting in Financial Protocols back in 2010 or 2011? It was wise to put in new ones and have them reinforced.

    Y’all remember the outcome of the Beef Island Bridge, Hospital, TB Lettsome Airport back in 2003, the Tortola Pier Park,etc. The over spending of tax payers money by 30,50 to 70% of the total project budget and nobody seemed to care nor got apprehened for it with the exception of one or two.
    Some are upset about the HM Treasury wanting to see Cheques and Balances for proper procurement of Public Projects? They have to foot the bill incase the BVI mess up.
    Some are against the Anti Money Laundering Sanctions Act that they passed in Parliament? Whatever else they’re asking for: Public Registers and else, all of the Crown Dependencies and other Overseas Territories have agreed to have theirs in place by 2023.

    What people in the territory don’t seem to know is that BVIslanders are happy living in the Mainland with the same laws that they are trying to enforce in our home territory. I don’t see any issue with any of the above except where any British Citizen can be living within any territory less than 7 to 10 years and be able to run for local office. You should be able to run for office but at least be living in that territory for abit longer than 7 yeara as you have to keep in mind the small size of the society that’s in each of those territory.

    Same Sex Marriage should be the territory’s choice on whether they wish to have those ceremonies performed there or not.
    Other than that, being apart of Britain is like a blessing in this present day. Maybe not 200 years ago but it’s a great nation whether we have the Rt Hon Boris Johnson as Prime Minister or not.

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  33. Answering Headline says:

    It’s not okay to ‘break from the UK now’ because people like you never did a THING to get us ready. Under your government, no government transparency was established and the people were dis enfranchised further, rather than being empowered. We’re not ready because of Politicians like you, sir!

    WE DONT want a free-for-all!

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  34. Well sah. says:

    The house, field, yard and plantation are still full ah dem meh bouuy.

  35. More Important Issues says:

    Hon. Vanterpool and others are really surprising me in this year of pandemic, havoc, mayhem, catastrophes and I can go on, as the only issues these politicians seem to be able to come up with all have the words Ïndependence”, “marijuana”, “gambling” and “Governor” in them? Well I have a few other issues for them:

    1. Banking Industry (interest rates on loans, interest on savings, customer service, etc.)

    2. Insurance companies and the premiums they are charging.

    3. Road repairs. (Every car on the road is clucking.)

    4. A proper, working electrical grid (without all these outages). It is costing the people with regards to loss of appliances as well as it is an inconvenience.

    5. Price control. (Everyday we go into the supermarkets the prices are going up.)

    6. For God in Heaven’s sake fix the road on Main Street. It is horrible. If not change back the direction. It seemed smoother the other direction.

    7. Stop wasting money on the Waterfront with this additional lane. Fix the roads we have.

    And while I am at it, stop giving yourselves contracts and thinking it is not stealing once you bring it to the House. It is unlawful to do so. It is also a waste of our precious resources on paying return airfare for persons leaving this country. It is cheaper to buy an airline ticket to leave than to stay if not working. They have it. Let them purchase their own tickets. What is my country coming to?

  36. Good logic says:

    Independence for Salt Island!
    This is your logic, Mark – which is no logic at all.
    The UK, in population terms, is 2000 times larger than the BVI. (60m:30,000).
    How low can you go before you become a vulnerable speck in the ocean with no defence and a political system dominated by the same family members and school alumni.
    Some seek independence so they can take advantage of this and dominate.
    Others seek it simply for a sense of racial/anti-colonial retribution to make them feel victorious and vindicated – but in real life this is a foolish priority for planning a stable, sensible and safe future for everyone.

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  37. Recheck says:

    @Good Logic: I meant to thumbs up NOT down.Could not say it better. 1000% in agreement.

  38. Anonymous says:

    It’s 68 million as of 2020.Almost 70 million in population and it’s a thriving population and economy.
    The OTs should follow what the Azores and the Canary Islands are to the rest of Spain. They have all the Autonomy(Self Government) they need while remaining apart of the wider country of Spain.They are fully integrated with local control and powers over how things are being done in their island regions.
    That is the best way forward in this Chinese Era.

  39. Forward ever Backward never says:

    Mark Vanterpool should have stayed gone. To answer his question why the UK can break away from the EU, but BVI can’t break away from the UK? The UK is self sufficient, the BVI is not. This was such a stupid question from a supposedly intelligent person. Smfh.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Draft up legislation to enhance and enforce the small population of BVIslanders who wish to live,work and study within the territory. Give them first preference more than they already have so they can always be protected in the local labour market and other opportunities within the BVI. Create programs like there are in the Mainland UK so BVIslanders can own their first and second homes insted of having choices of being tennants or just being land owners from the crown.

    Build on the current Airport Plans to have Jumbo Jets like the A330 and 767,777,A340 fly directly from London and the rest of Europe so there can always be jobs for whoever wish to have one.
    Getting tourists,cargo and business folks to and from this side of the Atlantic will only cause the BVI to be richer in years to come and the standard of living will be enhanced also.There are 68+ Million people in the UK Mainland and another 420 Million on the European continent.

    That is way more than enough reason to build that airport and link it directly to Europe.
    In the long winters, we just want to get to some place that’s sunny and have beautiful beaches and the BVI and other OTs can be on the to do list for many people every year.

  41. Captain Flint says:

    Please to stop the whining why don’t the Government of BVI just go for independence from the UK. Then only the Government will have itself to blame when its a mess and there no money left. And poor Governor Gus who is blamed for everything can go home. He is a good man who cant win no matter what he does. He must have picked the short straw cos I canna believe he chose to come to the BVI?

  42. Nah go work! says:

    I swear if Vanterpool don’t hushup and stop this talk it is going to bite us in the ass.
    The better question is, Why are you sir still in office???.. Use common sense deh man before yuh talk. What does the BVI have to support ourselves???.. I’ll wait.

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