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Sunday, Feb 05, 2023

Talks with UK to remove Order in Council deferred till next week

Talks with UK to remove Order in Council deferred till next week

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has followed through on his promise to request that the United Kingdom remove the reserved Order in Council that could potentially see Britain partially suspending the BVI’s constitution and taking over the territory for at least two years.
But though talks have commenced, UK Overseas Territories Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith – to Premier Wheatley whom he made the request – has deferred those discussions until his visit to the territory next week.

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley gave that indication during a press conference Monday morning, January 23, following his return from his trip to the UK last week.

“I did raise the concern about the Order in Council currently being held in reserve. The [Overseas Territories] Minister agreed that we would have a dedicated discussion on this in the very near future. While that issue needs to be resolved, I felt Lord Goldsmith was genuine about wanting a stronger partnership between the UK and BVI that fairly considers the interests on both sides,” Dr Wheatley told members of the media.

In explaining the process that would have to happen for the order to be abandoned, Dr Wheatley added: “Of course, for the Order in Council to be removed, that would certainly have to happen as a result of intervention by the Foreign Secretary who, of course, the Overseas Territories Minster reports to. Certainly, we’ve had a very good discussion with the Overseas Territories Minister. Our discussions have not yet concluded so certainly when he comes next week we intend to engage on that particular matter.”

And when asked whether he is confident that he will succeed in convincing the UK to remove the order, the Premier said he believes his government believes they are “engaging in the right way – positively”.

“We’ll give them every reason why it should be removed,” said Premier Wheatley who described the matter as a high priority.
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