Social commentator Claude Skelton Cline has argued that there has been much fear-mongering projected about the BVI going the route of independence.
While hosting his weekly Honestly Speaking radio show, Skelton Cline said some persons have been arguing that the BVI is somehow under a safety blanket of the UK and if it moves, the territory will be the worse for it.
“They’re often times – persons who do this fear-mongering – refer to some of the worst-case scenarios, rather than the cases that are in fact very successful countries who have advanced,” Skelton Cline said.
Meanwhile, his guest, Dr Carlyle Corbin, said this was a factor in many territories.
Dr Corbin, according to a recent government release, is an international expert on governance who has been commissioned by the Virgin Islands
Party (VIP) government to conduct an independent self-governance assessment of the BVI.
“It is often the case that the idea of moving, of change, comes with uncertainty and part of the uncertainty is because of the lack of … a comfort zone that exists,” Dr Corbin said.
Dr Corbin suggested, however, that the real question to be considered is whether taking the option of independence or free association will result in, as some may suggest, a rejection of the administering power and isolation from the rest of the world.
“These are some of the things that we hear in many of the territories, but the idea is really that independence or any change of status in current terms is more one of inter-dependence,” he argued.
Dr Corbin suggested that independence is unlikely to result in an isolated situation and pointed to relationships the BVI already holds with the OECS and CARICOM among other regional bodies as examples.
“Within that context, you find that the external affairs secretariat of the British Virgin Islands is really outstanding,” he said.