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VI calls on UK for OTs to be included in Brexit arrangements

Director of the BVI London Office Mr E. Benito Wheatley, right, dialogued with European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, left, at a courtesy meeting between the Commissioner and British Overseas Territories leaders in the margins of the 16th OCT-EU Forum held in Brussels last month. Photo: BVI London Office
The Virgin Islands [British] has called for inclusion in future negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union over Brexit. Photo: Internet Source
The Virgin Islands [British] has called for inclusion in future negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union over Brexit. Photo: Internet Source
LONDON, England, UK- As the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK) officially begin talks on a future relationship, the Virgin Islands [British] has called for inclusion in future arrangements.

The Virgin Islands’ Ambassador to London and the EU, Mr E. Benito Wheatley, said today, March 23, 2018 in a statement from London, the British capital: “Today I reiterated to the UK Government on behalf of the BVI our wish to maintain a relationship with the EU that covers trade, environment, development cooperation and policy dialogue.”

The Director of the BVI London Office continued: “I previously confirmed this position at a recent UK-OT Technical Roundtable on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Our position in this regard is consistent with that of other Overseas Territories classified as OCTs, who also see the EU as a trade and development partner,” the VI’s EU Representative stated.

Work with us we have priorities

Wheatley also discussed the VI’s EU priorities with the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, at a courtesy meeting between the Commissioner and British Overseas Territories leaders in the margins of the 16th OCT-EU Forum held in Brussels last month, a story first reported by our newsroom.

Mr Wheatley, who is leaving his post as the Territory’s Chief Diplomat in London in the coming weeks under unclear circumstances, also made the case for preserving current trade benefits that include continued duty and quota free trade in goods, Most Favoured Nation Status in Trade in Services and favourable rules of origin. He also stressed cooperation on environmental issues such as climate change and disaster response.

At the Forum, Wheatley called on the EU to include Caribbean British Overseas Territories in post-2020 arrangements for development cooperation with partners in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific.

We need Partners-Wheatley

The VI’s EU Representative also encouraged the EU and UK to be partners with the British Overseas Territories in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but reminded them of the importance of also supporting the services sectors of the OCTs, many of which facilitate international business, particularly in areas such as financial services.

Commenting on the Territory’s relationship with the UK and EU after Brexit, Wheatley said in statement: “Brexit now requires the BVI to look at both the EU and UK afresh with a view to repositioning ourselves as a partner to continue benefitting from our UK and EU relationships in the future.”

The VI is currently the Co-Chair of the OCT/EU Financial Services Partnership Working Party in Brussels, represented by Mr Wheatley.

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