Beautiful Virgin Islands


New king in town! Business as usual for BVI

New king in town! Business as usual for BVI

Special Envoy to the Premier, Benito Wheatley has expressed that the UK-BVI relationship will not be directly affected by the ascension of King Charles III to the throne.
King Charles was officially crowned on May 6 and even before that, calls were repeated for him to address some of Britain’s longstanding problems, such as the wealth hidden in the UK’s Overseas Territories (OT) and Crown Dependencies.

But Wheatley said the new monarch is not expected to affect the BVI’s financial services industry. And though the BVI has seen some turbulence in its relationship with the UK in recent years – particularly under the last Andrew Fahie-led administration – Wheatley explained that drastic change in the BVI’s relationship with the UK usually comes through other means.

“An Overseas Territory’s constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom will not be subject to change because a new monarch has ascended the throne. Constitutional change usually comes about as a result of a territory having a constitutional review and then subsequent constitutional negotiation between the UK government and the elected arm of the OT government,” the social commentator told our news centre.

BVI financial services sector unconcerned

CEO of BVI Finance, Elise Donovan shared similar sentiments as Wheatley. She said the BVI’s financial services sector isn’t concerned about the new monarch as he is only a ceremonial head of state.

“There has been no change in the constitutional relationship between the Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom. Consequently, the implications for financial services remain unchanged following the coronation. Similar to the [late] Queen, the King now serves as the head of state,” Donovan stated.

The British monarchy hasn’t enjoyed its usual popularity in recent years. Many Britons and people around the world see the institution as a symbol of privilege and inequality in a country of deepening poverty and fraying social ties. The spat between the royals and Prince Harry’s bi-racial wife hasn’t helped.

In recent years, the calls for the Crown to pay taxes on its wealth have gotten louder as economic conditions around the world worsen. There have also been calls for the Crown to apologize for the transatlantic slave trade and pay reparations to the nations where the descendants of enslaved people live.

The Crown hasn’t made any impactful move on any of the above-mentioned issues. Still, the global cries continue to grow louder.
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