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UK opting to leave EU better for VI in many ways- Hon Julian Fraser RA

- said PM David W. D. Cameron was being pressured by the EU to rein-in its OT's & Crown Dependencies in the Financial Services Sector
The campaign for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union secured around 51.8 per cent of the vote. Photo: Internet Source
The vote by the people of Britain to leave the European Union (EU) comes as little surprise to Opposition Leader in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3). Photo: VINO/File
The vote by the people of Britain to leave the European Union (EU) comes as little surprise to Opposition Leader in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3). Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While many have been expressing shock at the historic vote by the people of the United Kingdom (UK) to leave the European Union (EU), the result comes as little surprise to Opposition Leader in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), who believes the VI would be better off with the UK out of the EU.

The Leave campaign secured around 51.8 per cent of the vote and following the results, UK Prime Minister David W. D. Cameron resigned in an emotional speech outside 10 Downing Street. While England voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed Remain.

No surprise; VI better off

“I was not at all surprised by last night's outcome of the UK's referendum on EU membership, since I predicted the Brexit would prevail. The people of Britain wanted their independence back. What does this mean for the BVI? I think it's better for us in many ways,” Hon Fraser said in a statement to Virgin Islands News Online.

The veteran legislator said he knows first-hand, being someone who represented the VI on many occasions at the EU's Organisation of Countries and Territories Association -OCTA-, that the VI was at the end of a long line of countries and territories dictated to by the EU, led by the French.

“The UK was never in the picture when it came to the EU,” Hon Fraser stated.

Beneficial Ownership Register was work of EU?

Further, Hon Fraser said he was convinced that Mr Cameron was being pressured by the EU to rein-in it's OTs and Crown Dependencies in the Financial Services Sector, and “thus his heavy hand” on Beneficial Ownership Register.

The United Kingdom under Cameron has been pressuring its OTs that engage in financial services to divulge information on company ownership. The Virgin Islands, however, has declared it is not willing to go the extra mile of making beneficial ownership information public unless there is international regulation in place and that all financial services jurisdictions also comply.

“I think this decision by the UK to leave the EU, and Cameron's decision to resign, gives the VI a chance to hit the reset button and hope for a different set of dynamics.

“Make no mistake about it, the BVI is an integral part of the UK's number one position as the World Financial Center, beating out New York two years ago. The BVI has more offshore companies than any other country with just short of 500,000 active companies. It is also the second largest fund jurisdiction in the world, and the fourth largest insurance captive domicile.”

UK using VI like an ATM

Noting that, according to a Financial Times survey, the VI is the second largest source of international foreign direct investment globally, with upwards of US$125 billion invested through the VI each year, most of that money never reaches these shores.

“Most of this money ends up in banks in the UK, very little stays in the BVI. The UK uses the BVI like an ATM, but because BV Islanders are doing relatively well they tend to ignore the high cost-exploitation- the territory pays. The UK isn't doing us any favours, they have interests,” Hon Fraser stated.

Meanwhile, Virgin Islands News Online sought to get a reaction from the results of the EU referendum in the UK from Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith but had not received a response up to time of publication.

13 Responses to “UK opting to leave EU better for VI in many ways- Hon Julian Fraser RA”

  • ann (24/06/2016, 14:48) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Poor we
  • No clue (24/06/2016, 14:51) Like (13) Dislike (14) Reply
    This Man has no clue about what he is saying
  • Double win (24/06/2016, 15:06) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Two wins today
    UK is out of Europe - no more socialism through the back door.
    Cameron is going to resign - hopefully he will disappear with his views on fair tax (i.e. what he thinks others should pay is fair even if they have lawfully mitigated their taxes - whilst the fact that his Dad's estate benefited from a law tax regime in the Bahamas is apparently different and not "morally" wrong) and disclosure of the beneficial owners of companies.
    Possible third win if Scotland gets another go at independence and England gets a vote.
    • Peng (28/06/2016, 02:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Brexit not actually in place as the uk still have to activate article 50. The MPs in the commons may still have to vote and we've heard the majority don't want a brexit. Only time will tell. But I believe uk needs to activate once they get a new pm and a good team to negotiate.
  • Double Fudgie (24/06/2016, 16:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Quite so.
  • My people Suffer for Lack of Knowledge (24/06/2016, 16:17) Like (9) Dislike (6) Reply
    I think the whole world is seriously considering who is better off so I don't know how we could conclude so quickly that we are better off. It also seems like Mr. Fraser is the only one who was not surprised at the turn of events last night, as the rest of the world including those UK citizens who voted for Leave are surprised by the outcome. It even appears that if the UK has to re-run the referendum the opposite may result. The EU itself may not survive this decision by the UK either, as with the UK out, and a big chunk of financial backing gone from the UK to the EU, Germany perhaps will not want to take on this financial pressure to keep up the EU. This might be the beginning of the Caribbean Federation debacle in Europe, if we recall the famous Eric Williams statement, that 10 - 1 = 0. The euro, dollar, pound and the stock markets will all wobble for a while. The Bank of England has already indicated its willingness to provide unlimited financial liquidity to UK financial institutions to avoid any runs and the reincarnation of the 207/2008 down turn. This is by far not an open and shut book case of "we are better off" and we should be careful to analyse it intelliently before we come to these conclusions.

    1. The exchange of beneficial ownership information may have been a work of the EU but the work will perhaps continue as early as this summer/autumn when the dicussions on corporate tax avoidance continue. As weak as the UK's voice appeared on our behalf on this issue, we had some one at the table with a strong voice in general within the EU. Now that voice is diminished, and it will be much simpler for the BVI to find itself on these BLACKLISTS of countries seen by the EU to be engaging in harmful tax competition. This is certainly not a better situation for the BVI because it has severe impact for the industry that gives Government most of its revenue, the financial services industry. I believe it is better to have a voice with laryngitis than no voice at all.

    2. The contribution to foreign direct investment by use of BVI companies cannot be denied although I am not sure of the year of the FT that Mr. Fraser is relying upon. I recall that in 2014 it was at around 95 billion and perhaps lower in 2015. In any event, the UK banks and other banks around the world will always benefit from this cash flow, as the BVI has never encouraged a banking system and the monies made in these companies are not banked in the BVI. This benefit to these onshore countries would be the case however, whether the UK remained in the EU or not, so I am not sure how this issue helps the argument Mr. Fraser is rasing. It really has nothing to do with the UK's decision but more to do with where companies choose to or are forced to bank their money because we have never really offered or encouraged banks who are "sophisticated" enough to deal with financial services money.

    I believe that leaders must lead but with proper knowledge and information and I hope the Government is mindful of the impact and is gathering itself to ensure the BVI is ready to move forward no matter the outcome of BREXIT.

    • You sure (25/06/2016, 09:36) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ My people suffer for lack of knowledge:
      I can't agree with you. As long and rambling is this epistle is, it don't come close to addressing the points the article making about the EU, and that UK better off leaving.

      People like you responsible for the screwup state of the world, with globalization an free trade. Now this.
    • Tram (25/06/2016, 14:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @lack of knowledge

      So will the UK which fancies itself a world power, and now that it is independent of the EU, allow the same EU to bully its overseas territory? Your lack of insight on world affairs is incredible.

      The UK will be competing for global influence now and cannot afford to allow what it has always known to be unfounded EU accusations to continue. Not even the USA would be able to do that, now that the UK is on its own and has an image to rebuild.
  • joe average (24/06/2016, 18:36) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The EU was forcing fascism upon the BVI. England itself has enough rules and regulations, some quite excessive as
    is the case with the US and Canada making unreasonable demands upon others outside their borders. It reached
    the point where no one was allowed to just carry on with their life without being interrogated and scrutinized by
    multiple foreign entities. And some employees of such who do reside in the BVI decided it was their big chance to
    be a bully with the approval of their bosses overseas. This is very bad business practice and merely leads to the
    money going somewhere else. Not to mention ethics. Fascism stinks. Respect for others is a very good idea.
  • cat meat (24/06/2016, 22:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    fraser on to something bossie
  • Hector (24/06/2016, 23:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Or you can see it as an opportunity. Have some faith in your country, my god. You are the U.K., not UKraine. This struggle will make you better people. And maybe you should respect your elders more. They are just racist old buffoons that you characterize them as being.
  • Well (25/06/2016, 18:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We've already lost preferential treatment for Banana and Sugar, you can go to a Reggae festival in the heart of Europe and never see a Caribbean person in the line up and the last major trade deal we negotiated with the EU we did on an individual rather than regional basis.

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