Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie said discussing the British Virgin Islands’ political future is not a cardinal sin, as viewed by some.
The Premier said the matter of greater self-determination must be determined by the people of the territory collectively.
“You cannot move to the next level Constitutional wise without making sure that you strengthen your institutions in every facet of the way, so you are planning ahead and these things will last beyond our tenure in office,” he stated during a recent press conference.
He continued: “So I do not understand why some persons are making it sound as if it is some cardinal sin for us to discuss this as a community and to continue to develop our institutions as we must do regardless of our political status. We have to keep assessing ourselves from time to time and then we have a conversation among ourselves as Virgin Islanders and if we are not ready then we continue to work and to develop and we come back and assess ourselves again.”
The Territory's leader said this is what a country that is maturing or mature does.
“These conversations are not one to give any one sitting Government more power or autonomy over the people but these discussions are to make sure that as a people we develop ourselves and we are ready for whatever the next level is and no one should be ashamed or afraid to have these discussions because we are always told by each and every Governor and Overseas Territories Minister that self-determination is something that the Virgin Islands
is entitled to, so we have to make sure that we prepare ourselves.”
He further said if greater self-determination is the direction that the BVI wants the country must ensure that its institutions, people, economy, health and education are strong.
He added: “And if we decide we want to move there or not and we cannot allow the international media to determine the minds of Virgin Islanders and continue to spread all kinds of thoughts to create disunity among us."
said, "Because moving forward and growing requires us to be united and focused so that we can build ourselves so that one day we can say we are ready to move forward with the consent of the people united. Being British is something voluntary.”