UK should give BVI resources to get to independence
The United Kingdom (UK) should do more in its efforts at helping to make the BVI and other Overseas Territories (OTs) more self-governing, particularly if the territories have shown an interest in moving in this direction.
This was the viewpoint shared by Junior Minister for Culture & Tourism, Luce Hodge-Smith, who expressed that the UK has the necessary scope to give the BVI and other Overseas Territories more.
“What a majority of [OTs want], they want more autonomy. They want to be able to make decisions for themselves based on the fact that we are developing, we are doing things to help our people to grow,” Hodge-Smith commented on the Talking Points radio programme.
She offered that this should be done even though some decisions that are being made by the OTs are not always pleasing to the UK.
“If all these overseas territories and dependent countries are wishing for more autonomy or even independence, I think you have a right to listen to their wishes,” the Junior Minister added.
Hodge-Smith said she felt the UK not only has a right to enquire but also to assist OTs to achieve the status they want. “I believe that the responsibility is of the United Kingdom to give us the resources to get to where we need to go as well,” she stated.
She further explained that there are existing arrangements in place, such as educational sharing agreements which allow the UK to help with educators in the territory as well as assistance for athletes in the BVI.
“They have all the necessary skills, all the necessary experience to guide us and to help us to get over the hump that we are at now,” Hodge-Smith said. “They may not want to give us the finances, but at least give us the technical assistance and not just for prison and for police.”