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With a set date for UK to exit the EU, VI still not @ Table

- United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa M. May confirmed the Brexit no later than March 2019
From left: Premier of the Virgin Islands Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith, UK Prime Minister Theresa M. May, and VI Representative to London and the European Union (EU) E. Benito Wheatley. Photo: VINO/Internet Source/Facebook
Britain opted to leave the European Union following a referendum on June 23, 2016. Photo: Internet Source
Britain opted to leave the European Union following a referendum on June 23, 2016. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Virgin Islands Political Class, including United Kingdom (UK) appointed Governor John S. Duncan OBE, Premier Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, and Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA, (R3) all spoke about the UK’s decision, known as Brexit, to leave the European Union following a referendum on June 23, 2016.

Premier Smith said it could affect the Virgin Islands (VI) Financial Services and Tourism sectors and the VI Representative to London and the European Union (EU) E. Benito Wheatley agreed and even spoke about other benefits that our students studying abroad enjoyed by being a part of the EU. 

The VI private sector also weighed in, writing about the legal, social and financial implications of Brexit on the VI.


One of the things Premier Smith told the people in Parliament is that he wants the VI to be at the table to advocate for the territory’s interest when negotiations begin for Brexit.

However, there are preliminary talks ongoing about Brexit and it is reported by our correspondents in London that the VI is nowhere close to the table.

It was just last week that the British Prime Minister Theresa M. May (C) announced that the UK will withdraw from the EU no later than March 2019. Prime Minister May said she plans to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on the EU by March 2017 which launches the two-year negotiation process between the UK government and Europe.

Even at this early stage one would think that the VI would be around the table trying to influence time table, agenda, and being apart of the negotiation team while cementing its position on some of the issues to be negotiated. However, this has not taken place as yet.

We will be at Table?

However, the VI Representative to London and the EU Mr Wheatley disputed our claims. Speaking exclusively to our newsroom from London, the VI Ambassador said “the OTs and Brexit are at the top of the agenda of the upcoming joint ministerial council in London between the OTs and the UK.”

Mr Wheatley stated that “a framework for OT-UK engagement on Brexit will be determined by the Ministerial discussions.”  However, he did not elaborate on what the VI will be pursuing at the talks scheduled for October 31 to November 2, 2016.

The Opposition Virgin Islands Party, the media and civil society have been critical of the 5 year old [2011-current] National Democratic Party Administration headed by Premier Smith on his inability to address regional and international issues while only reacting to them way after the fact.

They cited the VI’s slow and ineffective response to the leak of the so called ‘Panama Papers’, as just one example, arguing that the VI refused to engage the international media and vigorously defend its legitimate business.

15 Responses to “With a set date for UK to exit the EU, VI still not @ Table”

  • Yes (07/10/2016, 11:35) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Even if they were at the table they had nothing to say LOL
  • trevor (07/10/2016, 11:47) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    OT's top of the agenda for jettison. The UK will not miss this opportunity to divorce itself from their OT burden, that is why there will be no invite for Sleepy.
    • VG (07/10/2016, 19:45) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Now about tax reform, education, the bad roads and no where for the 12 grade and all that other droll stuff...
  • ... (07/10/2016, 11:49) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't swallow Dave's Pork Pies! LOL! We need to have this. Don't fall for the governor's "white" lies. Don't eat the premier's sly pies or Walwyn "million dollar" tries.
  • Blackhawk (07/10/2016, 11:51) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    very thoughtful piece VINO
  • wize up (07/10/2016, 12:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    still working on the travel arrangements
  • True (07/10/2016, 13:42) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    BARE FACE CHEEK! You all want a say in something thats happening in country that is involved in a region that you have nothing to do with and you did not have a vote in outs outcome. Yet you want to be consulted and give input?

    What about all the expats who live and work in this country, pay taxes and contribute to this country yet have no voice, so you all go and sit down!
    • ? (08/10/2016, 09:31) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      EXACTLY. When the BVI contributes on the world stage (which it doesn't, it just takes) then maybe they will be consulted, but in what bizarre world are people here living in if they think they have a say about Brexit. How truly pathetic and bewilderingly stupid to think that BVI should be sitting at the table. The reality is that even if they were invited to the table they would be so busy scoffing the buffet and loading up Styrofoam containers full of food that they would probably miss the meeting anyway.
  • concern (07/10/2016, 19:39) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    At the risk of being accused of not taking this seriously enough, I am delighted by this write up.
  • qc (07/10/2016, 19:49) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    We are divided and conquered.
    There is zero leadership in this country.
  • BOTC Forever! (07/10/2016, 22:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    But yet y'all want indendence right? Never that!
  • Who cares?! (07/10/2016, 22:25) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The UK can handle them self, if our financial services sector fails, so be it. That's the point of being dependent, so that we have someone to fall back on, especially with such a pathetic government. Instead you focus on dealing with our education system, roads, airport, infrastructure, you're worried about being at a table where your opinion means nothing. And we all know why this government wants to be at the table so bad so that they can bring up independence.
    As if the people of VI said that we want that. NDP for themselves alone! Especially the one that ruined our education system!

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