Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has argued that conflict and hostility with Governor John Rankin is something that should be avoided where possible.
Premier Wheatley‘s remarks came against the backdrop that there were conflicts between elected members of government and the Governor in selecting the members of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC).
“Cooperation between the Governor and the Premier is not just simply a constitutional matter,“ Premier Wheatley said at a recent press conference.
He added: “It’s a matter of the need for the strong collaboration and cooperation between the Governor and the Premier and the Governor’s office and the elected government.”
The Premier argued that the BVI and United Kingdom (UK) have to work together to make their relationship work.
“We don’t see it as being in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands
to be in conflict, as the Governor has stated of course, sometimes our interests may not intersect and sometimes our views and our perspectives may not be the same,“ Premier Wheatley said.
This does not mean, Dr Wheatley noted, that engagement should not be continued between the two in a manner that is constructive and collaborative with the aim of seeking to hammer out solutions to some of the problems that are being faced.
“We see this to be a better option than hostility; than a destructive fight between the United Kingdom and the people of the Virgin Islands
,“ Premier Wheatley remarked.
According to the Premier, the constitutional review process allows for the people to examine the relationship between the United Kingdom and the people of the Virgin Islands
“As we set our course for the future, the people of the Virgin Islands
have a choice. The choice is in the hands of the people of the Virgin Islands
– through referendum and also through making their voices heard in the constitutional talks — what they want the relationship to look like in the future,” Dr Wheatley said.
The Premier added that where there are disagreements, this should be done respectfully and should not forego seeking to find solutions and bridging whatever divides might exist while keeping in mind what is in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands