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Referendum on Independence would be ‘overwhelmingly’ defeated- Hon Fraser

- said people need to educate themselves on what it means to have Independence & not just go with the fear that the VI will not be better off with it
Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) believes any soon referenum on independence for the Virgin Islands would be defeated overwhelmingly. Photo: VINO/File
Former Fourth District Representative Dr Vincent G. Scatliffe said the Virgin Islands has not shown the political maturity to handle its own affairs and take control of its own destiny. Photo: VINO
Former Fourth District Representative Dr Vincent G. Scatliffe said the Virgin Islands has not shown the political maturity to handle its own affairs and take control of its own destiny. Photo: VINO
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI- Suggesting that the majority of the population is not informed enough on what it would mean for the Virgin Islands to achieve independence, Opposition Leader and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA believes that any soon referendum on independence would be easily defeated.

It was at a Public Meeting at Valerie O. Thomas Community Centre in Sea Cows Bay on October 20, 2016 that Hon Fraser was responding to a question about what he felt would be the result if there was a referendum next year on independence for the territory.

“Based on what the people know on the ground I believe it would be defeated, overwhelmingly defeated,” Hon Fraser responded.

According to the Third District Representative, people have a fear that that the Virgin Islands will have much to lose by going independent, however, he does not agree.

“I want somebody to tell me what is going to change from what is happening right now to what is going to happen after we become independent. The British Government gives us nothing…We get nothing from these people…The economy that we have now will be the same economy. What is going to change?”

Hon Fraser also explained that the Virgin Islands gaining independence did not necessarily mean that the territory would sever all connections with the United Kingdom and noted that The Commonwealth still exists and the Queen is still the Head of The Commonwealth.

“She remains the Head of State unless we decide to become a Republic…and there are safeguards that prevent you from just becoming a Republic.”

Education over Persuasion

A member of the audience suggested the use of “persuasion” to push the independence agenda, however, Hon Fraser said he would not be persuading anyone but would prefer to educate them “because I believe it should be so clear and acceptable that you would want to go independent.”

Meanwhile, former Fourth District Representative under the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Administration, Dr Vincent G. Scatliffe said the United Kingdom of her Majesty the Queen is not the problem. “I think we are our own problem right here because we have not shown the political maturity to handle our own affairs and take control of our own destiny.”

According to Dr Scatliffe, people are also just allowing politicians to get their way and not demonstrating the will to hold leader accountable.

“Right now we feeling that a lot of things are wrong and we bawling…and we not doing anything about it. We ain’t hearing no march, no protest, no uprising, nothing. But we want the imperialist to come in a fix it. People afraid of the same people they elect,” Dr Scatliffe stated.

10 Responses to “Referendum on Independence would be ‘overwhelmingly’ defeated- Hon Fraser”

  • Xxx (28/10/2016, 14:39) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    He woke up to the truth
  • Boo (28/10/2016, 14:43) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    You seriously think there will be no change?
  • Political Observer (28/10/2016, 15:06) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    "SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI- Suggesting that the majority of the population is not informed enough on what it would mean for the Virgin Islands to achieve independence, Opposition Leader and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA believes that any soon referendum on independence would be easily defeated." Really! IMO, the VI is not ready for independence. What will a tiny dot(.) based its independence on? Income from two fragile industries----tourism and financial services. Don't think so. True, the U.K. does not provide much direct support but being under its umbrella provides some benefits, i.e., stability for its two fragile industries(tourism and financial services), external affairs and defense support, opportunity for Virgin Islanders to easily migrate to the U.K.....etc.

    Nevertheless, increasingly, independence seems to be on the public consciousness. Politicians are elected by the people to represent them in the HOA, not tell the electorate what is good for them. As such, any decision(s) that is made should be the desire of a majority of the people, not the personal desire or wishes of politicians.

    In regards to and though IMO I don't think that VI is ready for independence, let the people vote through a referendum for 1)For or 2)Against independence. This is the first step to even pursuing independence from the U.K. The U.K. cannot stop the will of the people for independence; it is guaranteed under UN charter. Let the people vote once and for all as the U.K. did for Brexit. As stated earlier in this rant, IMO the VI/BVI is not resdy for independence. E. Leonard, my friend, in other blogs list the disadvantages and vulnerabilities of the VI's small size that may be obstacles to it going independence or going it alone. Perhaps, Ed can elaborate on those disadvantages and vulnerabilities. In any event, put independence to a vote and let the PEOPLE decide, not politicians. Why do politicians think know what we want and what is good for us without asking us? The all knowing attitude comes from the electorate voting and then going in hibernation and refusing or demonstrating a lackadaisical attitude to demand transparency, responsibility and accountability. Too many are afraid to speak out because the faucet may be shutoff at the trough. Is not our system a representative democracy? Let the people vote?

  • VG Realist (28/10/2016, 15:50) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am in full agreement with Dr Scatliffe on this one. I would also add, over the years, the BVI hasn't introduced any other industries to the economy. All we have done is pure lip service from both Administrations. We have two fragile service industries and all is being done is just increased taxes and fees and that will not be enough. Hon. Fraser, although I would've prefer you over Dr. Smith as Premier in the last general Election, you are a part of the problem with your arrogance but i do admire you as someone who is definitely not a pushover in certain situations. I love the BVI but right now, I am uncertain about its future. I have mixed feelings of the possible UK takeover but since we cannot handle our own affairs, this independence talk would not fly with the majority of the electorate.
  • Citizen (28/10/2016, 15:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    What we need is a new set of leaders. God fearing leaders who are trust worthy. People who will be honest and open and uncompimising when it comes to the question of integrity. Too often politicians feel that they can lie to the electorate at will and feel they can do so with impunity. Until we elect people who are true to their word and rely on God's guidance we will forver continue to make the same mistake with the type of politicians we elect to office. I laugh when I read the numerous compliants on these message boards. Why? Because we have the politicans we elected.
  • Not a chance (28/10/2016, 17:11) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI would become a Banana Republic within months and fall flat on its face. It would be a free for all for power and raiding the treasury, which it already IS, but is somewhat constrained. Children can't be left to fend for themselves. Especially greedy ones.
  • Getready (28/10/2016, 18:05) Like (0) Dislike (5) Reply
    Look at the history of these islands, where we came from. I agree with Hon. Fraser. The United Kingdom gives us nothing. We may have a drop in lifestyle, but we will rise again. Do you know that the people of the Virgin Islands made a living with what they had in years gone by? All the Independent Caribbean countries are not dying, they are doing their best to survive. We would do likewise. We are a brilliant people and we will chart a course that will be beneficial for all. How can we continue to be the children of a wicked slave master for 182 years? It is a brainwashing that they try to tell us that we can't fend for ourselves. Yes, we can. Look how Europe underdeveloped Africa. Do you think a direct rule by the UK will help us in anyway? Behind our backs they will be laughing, they will be scheming how they can have us back in the 1600s grip again. People, you must start a move towards independence, whether today or tomorrow, because we will be no better off with a regime ruling us whose past is marred with the blood of our ancestors. If not today, my people, independence must come one day. Wake up. Remember South Africa how they treated black people; Remember the Southern United States of America how they treated the negroes and coloured people; Remember the Congo how they made them dig for gold and rubber with bare hands; Remember Ghana when they tried to take the "Golden Stool, a brave woman stood up to fight for Ghana; Remember Barbados and the vision of Errol Barrow for an independent Barbados; People remember yourselves because they will treat your children and grand children, just so. It is our right to chart our own course. Our leaders do not possess an 1/8th of the wicked traits of any future UK leader of these Virgin Islands. Why would they want to lead us anyway? To enslave us again. Let us trust our own to lead us. Learn your History, people. Do not welcome the British here for any direct rule over us.
  • W*F (03/11/2016, 15:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Independence for BVI, will see a mass Exodus of Businesses and Residents. So you all better don't go there.

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