The motion to amend the resolution already being debated- the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Recommendations- was made by Fourth District Representative and Member of the National Unity Government Hon Mark H. Vanterpool at the Fifth Sitting of the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola on July 19, 2022.
Hon Vanterpool said he wanted to move a motion to amend the resolution to add that “this House regrets the recommendation in A1 as was made and wishes to appoint a delegation from this House to go to London as soon as possible to meet with the House of Commons leadership to reverse this Order that was made on the Virgin Islands.
“I want to make a resolution to amend this motion to say that and let us agree in this House to form a delegation,” Hon Vanterpool stated, adding that the delegation should include CARICOM Heads, Members of the OECS and Members of the United Nations Committee on Decolonisation “to join us on the delegation and let us got to London fast.”
The motion was moved by Hon Vanterpool and seconded by the Opposition Leader who obliged.
Hon Vanterpool had asked for a recess to address the wording of the resolution, which was granted by the Speaker; however, when he returned from recess Hon Vanterpool surprisingly withdrew the motion.
He also withdrew an earlier comment that the five Cabinet Members of Government were “puppets”, since he believed the Governor was in control of the VI as a dictator.
When Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) debated the original motion, he did not mention anything about a delegation, as proposed by Hon Vanterpool, being formed to travel to London.
Dr Wheatley did say he supported the Resolution by the Leader of the Opposition but rejected Recommendation A1 of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Report.
“And, Madam Speaker, allow me to say that I also do not believe that having an Order in Council hanging over our head is the correct thing.”
Premier Wheatley did say that a conversation with the UK was needed to erase the perception that it has the VI under duress.
He said the VI has to work through diplomatic channels and “we need to have a conversation with the United Kingdom Government about not sending the message that these recommendations are being done under duress.
“Let’s truly commit ourselves to the democratic process. Allow the voice of the people to be heard and let’s respect the principles of democracy,” Dr Wheatley stated.