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'Don't make UK Loan Guarantee issue political'- Ray A. George

- says Opposition meetings behind Premier's back was not in 'good taste'
Mr Ray A. George (Left) on the Tuesday, September 17, 2019, edition of 'Honestly Speaking' with Host Claude O. Skelton-Cline. Photo: Facebook
Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) raising concerns on the VI/UK relations was at the time speaking at a public meeting with Opposition Members, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), Hon Melvin M. Turnbull aka ‘Mitch’ and Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6) on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School in Road Town, to discuss the BVI/UK Relations and other issues. Photo: Facebook/File
Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) raising concerns on the VI/UK relations was at the time speaking at a public meeting with Opposition Members, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), Hon Melvin M. Turnbull aka ‘Mitch’ and Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6) on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School in Road Town, to discuss the BVI/UK Relations and other issues. Photo: Facebook/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, has taken note of the Opposition holding public meetings in his absence from the territory, noting that while it is their democratic right they never sought to have any discussion with his government on their concerns but preferred to throw punches while he was 'out of the ring'. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, has taken note of the Opposition holding public meetings in his absence from the territory, noting that while it is their democratic right they never sought to have any discussion with his government on their concerns but preferred to throw punches while he was 'out of the ring'. Photo: VINO
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI - "It didn't seem like I missed much," were the words of former BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) Director, Mr Ray A. George while commenting on a series of Opposition sponsored meetings on the United Kingdom (UK) Loan Guarantee issue facing the territory.

Mr George, who has urged the Opposition Members to not make the issue of the UK Loan Guarantee a political one, was at the time speaking on the Tuesday, September 17, 2019, edition of 'Honestly Speaking' with Claude O. Skelton-Cline where he touched on a number of burning issues relating to the topic and the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA).

Newfound Love for Crown

"One of the reasons I'm here also, [is] so that we don't make this thing a political ordeal. I note very keenly... but I found that the series of meeting were taking place behind the back of the Premier [Hon Andrew A. Fahie] while he was in the UK, I don't know if that was in good taste and hopefully, was a coincidence," he said.

Mr George, on touching what he called a "newfound love", for VI's relationship with the UK," said, "I'm all for a non-adversarial relationship with the Uk... I think there are benefits to be had, and that will come through harmonious relationships and negotiations and I'm all for that 100%."

Within the past week, Opposition Members, including Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) and Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6), have been holding a series of meetings raising a number of concerns surrounding the UK Loan guarantee.

Throughout the meetings, the overarching theme was one where the Opposition was urging the Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) led Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government to take up the loan offer with the aim of preserving good relations with the Crown, even as the administration was seeking better terms and conditions.

UK addresses concerns 

According to Mr George, "I found it a bit strange that we are now, talking about that... as far as I'm concerned, when we did not swear in the Governor in the House of Assembly, I did not think that was in good spirit or relations, and also when we actually flew in the face of good governance and transparency, with a number of projects that went down, that wasn't in keeping with good relations as well," he said.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government had refused to follow long established tradition to swear in the new Governor, Mr Augustus J. U. Jaspert, in the House of Assembly (HoA) on his arrival to the territory in 2017 after they were reportedly flustered by remarks the previous Governor (John S. Duncan) had made, including about mismanagement of funds and lack of spending priorities.

Governor Jaspert was subsequently made to take the Oath at a quiet and short ceremony at the Virgin Islands Supreme Court building in Road Town on August 22, 2017, where some eight (8) elected members were absent, including now Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), Hon Julian Fraser (R3), Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6), and Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2), all current Opposition Members.

Meanwhile, Premier Fahie has since returned from his diplomatic trip to the UK, where in a Tuesday, September 17, 2019 meeting held at the House of Assembly (HoA) Conference Room, it was announced that the visit was “a resounding success”.

He said the administration is on its way to signing the Loan Guarantee agreement once the UK puts on paper what it has agreed to address.

“It would be correct to say that we are on our way to signing on to the UK Loan Guarantee and while we are going we making sure that the language is correct so that when we get there we can know if we signing on, but we on our way,” Premier Fahie stated.

Opposition 'throwing punches when we out the ring'

Commenting on the Opposition Meetings, Hon Fahie said several public meetings on the Loan Guarantee were held and the Opposition never raised any questions or asked for any discussions on the issues, "but as soon as we get up on a plane they started, which is their democratic right might I add, holding public meetings.

"And they throwing punches while we are out of the ring. Well I am back in the ring, I am back here, so they could throw the punch now that I am back here because, as we know, we are going to answer based on facts."

5 Responses to “'Don't make UK Loan Guarantee issue political'- Ray A. George”

  • VIlander (18/09/2019, 12:36) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Exactly.
  • Hippo Crates (18/09/2019, 13:34) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy of the Opposition Ray. It is them who roughed up the incoming Governor now wanting to play saints
  • Quiet Warrior (18/09/2019, 14:35) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    It is a standard practice in developed countries that politics stop at water’s edge, ie, when leader is out country, the political wrangling is held in abeyance (put on hold). It was bad form to hold meetings on the same issue that the Premier was in London discussing. Is this a case of sour grapes.......etc ?
  • Tired (18/09/2019, 15:51) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bunch of power-hungry hypocrites always storing the pot and causing division in the country
  • bone (19/09/2019, 06:58) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Lucky thing Fraser is not Premier. His arrogance would I have been bad for the BVI


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