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Friday, Dec 09, 2022

E. Benito Wheatley was main interlocutor in BVI-UK discussions- Premier

E. Benito Wheatley was main interlocutor in BVI-UK discussions- Premier

Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has indicated that his brother, Mr. E. Benito Wheatley; who also serves as Special Envoy of the Premier, was the main interlocutor in BVI-UK discussions on the CoI recommendations since early May, 2022.

The Premier during a June 8, 2022, press conference said his brother's wealth of diplomatic experience gained across four Government administrations was instrumental to the outcome where the UK has agreed that no direct rule will be imposed in the VI, as long as the Government implements CoI recommendations on a strict timeline.

Majority in VI cherished democracy - E. Benito Wheatley


Ahead of the negotiations, Special Envoy Mr Wheatley had told the United Nations Pacific Regional Seminar on decolonization in Saint Lucia held on May 11, 2022, that the majority of the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) cherish democracy.

There it was also revealed that the Government of Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had submitted a proposal to United Kingdom (UK) Minister Amanda A. Milling on behalf of the National Unity Government that sets out the Government’s approach to reform and presents a framework for implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry report under a democratic system.

“The Government believes this is the most desirable approach, especially since the Governor is constitutionally responsible for the Public Service, security, and administration of the courts, while the elected Government is constitutionally responsible for managing the rest of Government," he told the UN.

Mr Wheatley said the proposal was submitted on May 10, 2022, with the hope that the UK Government will accept the proposal and will be willing to partner with the VI Government to help the [British] Virgin Islands become the model democracy that its people desires.

The Premier during a June 8, 2022, press conference said his brother's wealth of diplomatic experience gained across four Government administrations was instrumental to the outcome where the UK has agreed that no direct rule will be imposed in the VI, as long as the Government implements CoI recommendations on a strict timeline.


Public thanked for patience


Meanwhile, Premier Wheatley also thanked the VI public for their patience and calm during the negotiation period and noted, “must face the challenges ahead together as a community. I call on everyone to be a part of the positive changes that are taking place to strengthen us as a people and to not be bystanders as we transform our Territory.”

The Premier said the way forward now provides a greater political certainty that will lend itself to a more stable economic environment.

“This will in turn benefit the financial services industry, tourism industry, construction industry, and other sectors of the economy. As daily life resumes, I want to assure the public that the Government of National Unity will continue to work in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands and that reform will remain our top priority.”

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