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Lord Ahmad: ‘BVI must respect will of Parliament’

Residents of the Virgin Islands (VI) on May 24, 2018 turned out in large numbers for the Decision March to show their opposition to the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament's passage of an amendment calling for all British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean region to have open registry for beneficial owners of off shore companies. Photo: VINO/File
Page 1 of the Letter sent from Lord Ahmad to Ms. Hull.
Page 1 of the Letter sent from Lord Ahmad to Ms. Hull.
Page 2 of the Letter sent to Ms. Hull on the UK's position.
Page 2 of the Letter sent to Ms. Hull on the UK's position.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI: In a bombshell response to the huge march held by residents of the Virgin Islands (VI) on May 24, 2018 to show their opposition to the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament passed amendment calling for all British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean region to have open registry for beneficial owners of off shore companies, the UK has spoken.

In a written response to the petition sent to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) via Decision March Chairwoman Ayana S. Hull, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon who is the UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN stated that “The UK Government would have preferred to work consensually on making registers of beneficial ownership publicly available, but we have to respect the will of the Parliament”.

Any other option for the VI?

Many see this matter as now closed and the VI will be forced to make public  beneficial owners unless the VI succeeds in a court of law. This move will essentially kill the VI financial services sector, which accounts directly for 60 cents of every dollar in the Territory’s economy.

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill has since received the Royal Assent and became an Act on May 23, 2018.

Way forward?

The Virgin Islands has said it will only comply when the standard becomes a global one, as now a show down looms between the UK and the VI at a time when the current local government remains weak and ineffective.


33 Responses to “Lord Ahmad: ‘BVI must respect will of Parliament’”

  • Not2Sure (06/07/2018, 08:28) Like (19) Dislike (24) Reply

    so you mean I marched In vain dread

    • THINK1 (06/07/2018, 09:43) Like (28) Dislike (4) Reply
      Any time you march for justice, you never march in vain.
    • Chk this. (06/07/2018, 12:08) Like (12) Dislike (5) Reply
      U.S, french and dutch territories follow laws from their mainland partners that's where they get their citizenship from so if you're a citizen you have to respect the laws of the country. The bvi shouldve been diversified decades ago. Now you're thinking about independance well with a track record like that font you think that the islands will get black listed and sanctioned?. Well my God the leaked names from the panama papers and other leaks tells us that the fs isnt as transparent as is told. Some of the names in the leaks are not good people doing good things.
  • GOOD EXERCISE (06/07/2018, 08:50) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
    The march was probably not in vain the exercise must have done your body some good. The fact is we should not have been in this retarded and compromising position to begin with. As a country our focus has been misplaced. Until we get over the idea that we are somebody's child (slave) there is no hope of ever getting things right, our thinking is screwed...we will continue to self seek and blow every opportunity for national advancement.
  • ... (06/07/2018, 09:12) Like (19) Dislike (8) Reply
    the sad thing is we cannot go independent with the likes of mvw. so we doom
  • wize up (06/07/2018, 09:35) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
  • Heritage (06/07/2018, 10:07) Like (17) Dislike (47) Reply
    No we ain't March in vain. Let us face reality. UK does not love us and it is time to paddle ourv own canoe. How did St. Kitts Dominica St.Vincent and other Caribbean countries did it? Tell UK we don't want to be on its plantation no more. Nothing to lose. Down the road.
    • what (08/07/2018, 10:10) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
      Those countries do not import 100percent of everything like the bvi cannot even feed itself what will maintain the country when you've gone independent yal trying protect monies possibly been used to fund terrorism while bvi elected here pocketing hundreds of millions
      Yal better wake up wise up rise up
  • Watching from far (06/07/2018, 10:17) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everybody knew that would be the outcome, but it's never in vain to stand for what you believe in dread.
  • ok (06/07/2018, 10:54) Like (28) Dislike (4) Reply
    If you're a territory of the u.s you have to respect american laws from washington. No matter if you have a local government same if a britsh, dutch, french territory you have to comply with their laws there is a give and take that comes with citizenship. People upset about this situation and not realizing that the leaks from the panama papers and others caused this. If the bvi is so compliant then why are those people names appearing in the leaks? Some of the people names appearing there are linked to terrorism and other acts. Thinking about independance? With a repetoire like that you will get black listed abd sanctioned. So good luck. Diversity was needed long time ago but feet dragging was more important.
    • ??? (07/07/2018, 10:12) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      The difference is American laws usually apply to all of America. They don’t impose special laws or double standards on their territories that will possibly make life harder.
      • Sure? (10/07/2018, 07:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Ask about the Jones act. Wonder why things are more expensive in the usvi and pr than in america? Why they cant vote for president? The jones act prohibits them from importing anything unless it comes in through america first then to them. They cant vote because it was decided that they were inferior races during the 1900's it still hasnt changed. America crippled P.R and wont help them or accept them as a state because they speak spanish and have a $100 million debt yet they spend $600+ million a year on war
  • BVI STRONG (06/07/2018, 12:45) Like (16) Dislike (24) Reply
    With all due respect to you Lord Ahmad your government has given us a loan $400ml we have to pay it back now with our hands tied behind our backs how you expect us to pay back we’ll fight to the end
    • Wrong Information (08/07/2018, 05:13) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      The loan actually stipulates if we default on it, it would not be a financial burden to us.
    • Hmm (08/07/2018, 09:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      But our present elected officials said we had lots of money in the reserve. Where is this money This is why the UK DONT
      trust this government.
  • island man (06/07/2018, 13:40) Like (11) Dislike (6) Reply
    Are we still seeking for independence?
    I say this is the first stage in the fight against corrupt governance.
  • Put up or go! (06/07/2018, 14:21) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    "We are open to constitutional reform" ie toe the line or go Independent!!
    • No idea (08/07/2018, 08:19) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      You're talking about independence but i'm sure you're children or grandchildren will some of those leaving for greener pastures after that. You people have no idea how the U.K or any where outside the U.S is. I'm sure if most of you visit the U.K you will not want to come back to the V.I for a very long time or not at all
  • Youserious (06/07/2018, 14:35) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply really wrote that, you actually thought a march would be the end of it all. Showing unity and your displeasure in what ever form was a good first step. So Chill!!!
  • yrral (06/07/2018, 14:56) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
    Marching for millionaire and bilbillionairese will not see one penny from these shell companies,the money is in other account in other countries,this is just an account ing trick
  • Referee (06/07/2018, 15:29) Like (27) Dislike (7) Reply
    GOOOOOOOOAL! UK FCO 1 - BVI Elitists 0

    Crash & we going spend possibly a cool scarce couple millions on lawyers whom already know it is in the words of the Cuban: "it's a done deal..". Cannot wait to see the register & the nuclear fallout locally - will be quite interesting the massive conflicts of interests these PIRATES have done.
  • Lord Lunchpail (07/07/2018, 08:51) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Flush twice.
  • wize up (07/07/2018, 09:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    caution: one should not take a penknife to a gunfight!!!(just saying)
  • concern (07/07/2018, 10:45) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    if we go independence , we running the risk of loosing the use of US currency ,respect the laws of parliament when its not oppressive and treaten the well being of thousands
  • Diego Penn (07/07/2018, 15:20) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    What about parliament RESPECTING THE WISHES OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS PEOPLE and our rights to Economical Freedom
    • wize up (09/07/2018, 11:51) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Diego: are you not concerned with terrorism and where the funding comes from: the United Kingdom have experience terrorism and now putting measures in place: sometimes Peter have to pay for Paul: can you recall when the territory was more independently independently sufficient now over the years we have become reliant and this is causing issues: not personal; following the hurricanes the territory have lost substantial income because no cruise ships: we need to revisit the way forward as a developing territory: we also rely on revenues from the sailing industry and look at who controls that economic pillar; what happens should that industry find another lucrative market.....
      • @wize up (09/07/2018, 17:47) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
        Are they not concerned about the same issues in the UK and crown dependencies. Are they doing anything about their leaks and issues. Stop being gullible and foolish. Slavery was the will of Parliament then too. It was later abolished as a flagrant disrespect to a person's right as a human. Do you really not think that a decision by Parliament that stands to affect the entire economical viability of a territory can be right, simply because it is clothed in protecting the UK from international threats? Really, that is like saying that they should not have abolished slavery as it would be harder for English people to survive without people to whip at their bidding if their cup of tea was not warm enough. Take the scales off your eyes. This is colonialism at its best. The culture and DNA is still in the people although they have abolished it in the laws and as long as they can find a legal way to get away with it, they will continue to want us enslaved.
  • Hmm (08/07/2018, 05:22) Like (15) Dislike (4) Reply
    So people here are actually considering independance to destroy what little we have and may have in the future because they don't want to be told what to do? Is the outcome going to be as bad as described? News outlets always hypes up stories for views. Ayo have no clue what that do to liitle bvi seems like many of you never been past miami or new york or know anything about global politics the bvi is only stable because of two things American dollars and british security. One of the most favourable positions to be in worldwide. If you really think that things would continue as it is now if anything of those two things are before mentions items are out you are fooling yourselves. But go right ahead and destroy your country it's your children and grandchildren who will be taking up residency in other countries for a better life.
  • eye spell (08/07/2018, 10:42) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Huge March?? This place wants it both ways, without the UK we have no financial services industry, they will go if the UK goes. Like Antigua, St Vincy or St Kitts - no confidence in Government no financial industry. They warned and warned and we did nothing and now we think 5000 ppl massaged by Walwyn closing the schools will make a difference.- wake up and smell the coffee, it was ours to lose and what did we do.
  • So was slavery (09/07/2018, 09:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Noble Lord must also remember that the same thing was said when the slavery law was passed. "it is the will of parliament". The laws of parliament largely represent the narrow views and wishes of legislators and not necessary what is good for the masses. This law started as a vendetta by a clique in parliament that and through wielding and dealing it was propelled through parliament. What these territories should do is legalized ganga, go into large scale farming and send all of it to the streets of England. Only then will these parliamentarians realized how Law passed in one country can affect another.
    • Very sensible comment (09/07/2018, 17:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Sometimes we have to look at the future by watching in a backward glass. Scientists are only correct in the moment. The future often proves them wrong. The UK Parliament is not the final arbiter on anything. Their will is not our will or the will of the world and if we continue to fight, we can prove them wrong. We did so to become freed people physically, we must do so to remain freed people economically.
  • ausar (09/07/2018, 10:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is remotely clear, based on this written response, is that the Lord is clear on the provisions of the sovereign rights of the Kingdom.

    What he failed to disclose is what are the sovereign rights of our people. This territory is no longer in granting aid status and it is clear that it is perhaps where the Lord wants to see us return.The people of this country has the right to determine the way forward economically for its survivability.

    What the Lord should have concluded by stating is the hows should the territory maintain its viability after such a decisive blow against one of its pillars.

    And since he concluded with no clear path forward for our viabilty, his statements should be taken with a grain of salt and our leaders should choose economies going forward, regardless of the impact that it may have towards the Kingdom and its stated minions, that will sustain, expand, and enhance the continuity of the future-economic and otherwise- of these islands!
  • ok (10/07/2018, 09:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's all right. Neither the UK or the BVI administrations respect the rights of people. So its business as usual.
    Oh, of course they both respect the rights of the rich and the big banks. That has to be.

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