British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Nov 25, 2020

BVI On Watch As UK Votes Tomorrow In Nail Biting Elections

BVI On Watch As UK Votes Tomorrow In Nail Biting Elections

As of Tuesday evening, December 10, the opinion polls in the United Kingdom showed the Conservative Party still out in front with an average lead of 9.5-points.
However, analysts who have been following the polls ahead of Thursday’s general elections opine that the UK may end up with a hung parliament the fact remains shrouded by time.

However, what is clear is that the decision can alter whether the country remains part of the European Union (EU) or proceeds with BREXIT.

British citizens are heading to post their ballots in consideration of the position of the two major parties – the currently ruling Conservatives and the Labour Party.

The Conservatives are being led by current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and their campaign is on the message — "Get Brexit Done." In fact, the Conservatives have mentioned a new BREXIT date of January 31 and a transition period that could last to December 2020.

However, many UK nationals are concerned that much detail about the BREXIT plans are unknown such as trade arrangements.

On the other hand, the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn in the past have called for a soft BREXIT. Now they have intensified their call for a new referendum which would have the people decide among other things whether they remain in the EU.

Nonetheless, the United Kingdom citizens will decide in a general election that comes two and a half years after the previous general election of June 2017.

While all UK elections are important for Virgin Islanders to note, this one is especially pressing as the resulting issues will affect the Territory.

Most certain is the matter of BREXIT as the BVI has forged a relationship with the EU through the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union (OCTA).

The Territory has also benefited from a number of EU funded initiatives and unfortunately is facing immense EU orchestrated challenges as a result of the Economic Substance stipulations. Therefore, it stands to reason that the Territory is eyeing the elections with interest.

In the wake of the UK's move to finalize its exit from the EU and set all of the arising issues in order, the BVI was assured in September that the Territory would not be left in the cold or by-the-way-side as a result of BREXIT.

This assurance was given to Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie during his visit to the United Kingdom to discuss matters of the Loan Guarantee with Her Majesty’s Government.

While in London the Premier met with the Minister responsible for BREXIT, former Minister for the Overseas Territories, James Duddridge MP who made the promise.

The mention of the BREXIT assurance to the BVI Leader was made by Duddridge in a social media post. In that announcement the UK MP said: “Good to meet Premier Fahie from the British Virgin Islands. I reiterated that our relationship with the British Overseas Territories will remain as strong as ever as we leave the EU.”

Premier Fahie also spoke favorably about the sit-down with Minister Duddridge. In a social media post on September 12, it was stated that “Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie met with Minister James Duddrige, Brexit Minister in a fruitful and constructive exchange regarding matters around Brexit and its impact on the BVI in terms of EU Funding, trade, and travel.”

The discussions occurred during the Premier's visit to the UK between September 10 and 14.
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