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Premier Fahie sees ‘beacon of hope’ as OTs leaders pledge unity

- as fresh concerns raised against ‘modern colonialism’
With British Overseas Territories (OTs) saying they will 'stand together' to defend their right to self-government amid increasing concerns over “constitutional overreach” from the United Kingdom, Premier and Minister of Finance of the Virgin Islands Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has expressed optimism. Photo: St Kitts Observer/Facebook
From left, Anguilla Premier Victor F. Banks, Gibraltar Minister for Commerce Albert J. Isola, Bermuda Premier E. David Burt, Falkland Islands MLA Teslyn S. Barkman, Cayman Islands Premier Alden M. McLaughlin, Turks and Caicos Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo and Virgin Islands Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who attended the June 26 Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting and June 27, 2019 International Trade Summit. Photo: Taneos Ramsay
From left, Anguilla Premier Victor F. Banks, Gibraltar Minister for Commerce Albert J. Isola, Bermuda Premier E. David Burt, Falkland Islands MLA Teslyn S. Barkman, Cayman Islands Premier Alden M. McLaughlin, Turks and Caicos Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo and Virgin Islands Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who attended the June 26 Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting and June 27, 2019 International Trade Summit. Photo: Taneos Ramsay
The United Kingdom Government of Theresa M. May in May 2019 has said it will not force the British Overseas Territories (OTs) to legalise same-sex marriage but will continue to engage them to ensure their legislation is compliant with their international human rights obligations. Photo: Moneycontrol
The United Kingdom Government of Theresa M. May in May 2019 has said it will not force the British Overseas Territories (OTs) to legalise same-sex marriage but will continue to engage them to ensure their legislation is compliant with their international human rights obligations. Photo: Moneycontrol
Bermuda Premier E. David Burt said at a press conference following the summit at the Kimpton Seafire Hotel on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 that the Overseas Territories will vociferously resist any attempts at modern-day colonialism. Photo: Government of Bermuda
Bermuda Premier E. David Burt said at a press conference following the summit at the Kimpton Seafire Hotel on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 that the Overseas Territories will vociferously resist any attempts at modern-day colonialism. Photo: Government of Bermuda
GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands- With British Overseas Territories (OTs) saying they will “stand together” to defend their right to self-government amid increasing concerns over “constitutional overreach” from the United Kingdom, Premier and Minister of Finance of the Virgin Islands Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has expressed optimism.

Any attempts to enforce legislation from Westminster on issues ranging from same-sex marriage to ‘belongership’ and financial services regulation will be strongly resisted, according to leaders of several territories, following talks in Grand Cayman this week, the Bermuda Compass reported on June 27, 2019.

It said despite the disparate concerns of the various territories, leaders from the Falklands to Bermuda were united in their opposition to the UK dictating policy from thousands of miles away.

‘OTs will resist vociferously’

A UK law seeking to impose public registers of beneficial ownership on Britain’s territories – seen as a threat to the financial services industry – is a key concern for several islands.

 “Modern-day colonialism is what is being attempted by those persons is Westminster, and I am certain that all Overseas Territories will resist it vociferously,” Bermuda Premier E. David Burt said at a press conference following the summit at the Kimpton Seafire Hotel on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

‘Beacon of hope’

Several other leaders expressed similar concerns, and insisted the pressure from the UK on various issues is helping them to forge closer bonds as they seek to resist what they see as constitutional overreach from the mother country.

“I see a beacon of hope with our team here, because we all realise that divided we fall, united we stand,” said Andrew Fahie, Premier of the [British] Virgin Islands.

Hon Fahe, since taking office as Premier of the Virgin Islands has been championing the call home and abroad for regional and OTs leaders to unite “against what is to come.”

A recent report from a Foreign Affairs Select Committee, which included a number of suggestions including recommendations that the UK government force its territories to adopt same-sex marriage legislation and open discussions on allowing resident UK citizens to vote and stand for election, is also stoking controversy.

New concerns over possible UK overeach

Though the current British government says it has no plans to follow through on the report’s recommendations, the uncertainty and instability in UK politics amid a Conservative party leadership battle, division over Brexit and the possibility of a general election, is fuelling concern.

Burt said it was possible that the report’s recommendations could gain traction in a new government, and highlighted the possibility that some of its authors could be part of a future government.

“It is sad to see persons who don’t have a familiarity [with the various islands] reverting to a position we thought was long gone, where Westminster feels able to dictate to the Overseas Territories,” he added.

Albert J. Isola, Gibraltar’s minister for commerce, said the specifics of the issues at stake were largely irrelevant. He said it was “anti-democratic” of the UK to attempt to make laws for its territories on issues that were the responsibility of the elected governments.

“There is no way today we can accept modern colonialism through the back door by allowing these things to happen. On that, as has been demonstrated today, we are all 100 percent on the same page,” he said.

The report caused ripples as far away as the Falklands. Teslyn S. Barkman, a legislator from the islands, off the coast of Argentina, said it was omitted entirely from the report, but could be faced with the impact of its findings.

She said the recommendation that UK citizens be given the right to vote and run for office in the territories was the most controversial.

“You are talking about giving UK citizens the right to vote in a population of 3,000. You could very quickly have a population of UK citizens who don’t know the territory’s needs or priorities, or care about the long-term viability of the economy.”

Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, of the Turks and Caicos, said she expected pressure from the UK, particularly over voting rights and same-sex marriage, would continue.

“It is a matter of constitutional overreach, and respecting territories rights to choose how they want to govern, how they want to grow their countries, who they want to run in their elections and certainly their culture and religious beliefs,” she said.

Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo said the UK clearly understood the democratic values at stake, because they were fighting for autonomy from the European Union on the basis of the same principles.

“We have just the same right as they have and we need to insist on our right to self determination, and our people need to support us in this regard.”

He urged the leaders around the table to remain united on issues, even when they only affected a handful of islands, and vowed to offer Montserrat’s support to others on issues, like financial services, which do not directly effect the island.

“We have a saying in Montserrat, ‘today for you, tomorrow for me’. I am counting on us to stand together,” he said.

15 Responses to “Premier Fahie sees ‘beacon of hope’ as OTs leaders pledge unity”

  • Hmmmmmmm (29/06/2019, 18:58) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    “Any attempts to enforce legislation from Westminster on issues ranging from same-sex marriage to ‘belongership’ and financial services regulation will be strongly resisted, according ...”

    At the end of the day, this is what happens when humans rule humans or have a say in the rulership of other humans. It will be strongly resisted but then what?
  • Good Going (29/06/2019, 19:05) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    “A recent report from a Foreign Affairs Select Committee, which included ... and open discussions on allowing resident UK citizens to vote and stand for election, is also stoking controversy.”

    Well, aren’t resident in the BVI UK citizens eligible for immigration status fast track if they are here more than 20 years? I think so. No matter what color or race or existing citizenship, you should be fast tracked once you meet all the requirements. No?
  • LGBT (29/06/2019, 19:10) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Anyone kicking up against legalization of adultery?
    • @LGBT (29/06/2019, 20:27) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
      But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

      The sexually immoral include adulterers who are no different from homosexuals and both end up in hell. God is not partial and he does not lie. There’s a lot of wickedness going on even among people calling themselves Christians who opposing all kinds of sexual immorality except adultery. Slandering God’s name and defiling his house.
      • Truth (30/06/2019, 06:49) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
        Matthew 19: 9 - And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

        Matthew 5: 32 - But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

        Above is simple and straightforward that even a 7 year old can understand.
        • @Truth (30/06/2019, 12:05) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply

          Dislike all you want but it’s the Truth. God’s word is truth. Absolutely no one can alter the Truth - take off a word or letter or add a word or letter. No One! He up high but he looks real low. I place my confidence in him.

          No one can fake, faux worship him.
        • WHAT!!! (30/06/2019, 12:31) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
          “Truth” you left out the part in your bible where it says the adulterous should be stoned to death. Thats why the bible is full of nonsense and you all who believe it just pick out the parts you like.
          • @WHAT!!! (30/06/2019, 12:42) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply

            They should meet the same fate as murderers but, man legalized it.
        • facts (01/07/2019, 07:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

          They can dislike but they can’t change the truth.
  • No he is not a racist (29/06/2019, 19:35) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Fahie issue is this over reaching governor
  • cromwell (29/06/2019, 20:04) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    The UK is indeed looking to divorce itself from the EU, and, in so doing it is looking to reinstate full independence. If the OT's want to run their own ships they should go independent, they can't have it both ways. The French, Dutch and US Caribean islands don't have an issue with being ruled from their countries of origin, they also don't want independence. You can't have it both ways.
  • Truth (29/06/2019, 20:50) Like (8) Dislike (11) Reply
    Fahie is the best hope for these Virgin Islands
  • let my people go (30/06/2019, 10:27) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
    We trust the VIP time now to talk independence
    • wize up (01/07/2019, 07:18) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ let my people go: independence with what: the road to independence mean having your own currency: the road to independence means providing your own internal and border security: after the 2017 hurricanes it was the London and her territories that keep law enforcement in this place(BVI Police were also breaking the laws):the road to independence means finding your own global trading partners(China and Taiwan cant wait to exploit us): under the current United Kingdom our territory have the benefit of additional security(in 2017 the Royal Navy came fully equipped to assist our people to rebuild in a serious time and our elected members turn them away, as a matter of fact the royal fleet showed up just after the August flood and were asked to leave) just after the hurricanes the United Kingdom offered financial assistance(economic security)but the government financial books showed great signs of unaccountability(so we now have RDA). As an independent country in today’s economic developments the BVI will be subject to more exploitation(all manner of countries will come here to take over the further development of our sea, sun and sand)...independence sounds very good and exciting; but can we as a people seriously afford to jump from the frying pan into the fire: just my personal opinion but on that note put the independence issue to a vote and let our people cast votes on the matter and the majority will rule(the voice of the people must be heard)



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