At a recent trip to the United Kingdom to conduct official business, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley met with the members of the BVI All-Party Group in the British Parliament and according to him, the conversation revolved around the progression of the Commission of Inquiry reform process under the agreed framework.
The Premier said he met with James Sunderland who agreed to chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group in the United Kingdom’s House of Commons and House of Lords.
“We just discussed how the reforms are going. We discussed our aspirations as a UK overseas territory [and] our economy. He certainly was very interested in what we were doing in the Virgin Islands
and how he could support and how he could help,” the Premier said.
Dr Wheatley noted it was important to have representation in the UK’s parliament as these people could advocate for the rights of the territory.
“Just for persons to understand, the concept of having friends in the House of Commons and House of Lords is very important. For instance, policies toward the Overseas Territories can be heavily influenced by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office. The Foreign Secretary and the Minister for Overseas Territories should have the benefit of other perspectives and if we have parliamentarians who help to advocate on behalf of the BVI on very important issues, it is only to our benefit,” Dr Wheatley said.
“These Members of Parliament have agreed to do that, and we are very grateful to them because we really want to have a strong relationship between the BVI and the United Kingdom. In some instances, I believe persons have the wrong impression of the BVI, the wrong impression of our financial services industries. They are not exposed to as much information as needs be and if we have persons in the UK parliament who can help to elucidate some of these issues and to share knowledge and give accurate information about the BVI, it would be to our benefit,” he added.