Territorial At-Large Representative Carvin Malone said he believes that the United Kingdom (UK) will still have to suspend the BVI’s constitution in order to implement certain Commission of Inquiry (COI) recommendations.
This is despite an assurance by Governor John Rankin
that the BVI’s constitution will not be temporarily and partially suspended once COI
recommendations are carried out over the next two years, according to a proposal made by the current unity government.
However, the governor did note that an Order in Council will be held in reserve in the UK to facilitate that suspension, should the BVI renege on its commitment to implement the agreed-upon recommendations or if he assesses that progress on their implementation is being frustrated in any way.
“This is the procedural order put before the Privy Council of the UK which is required to make changes to the Constitution of the BVI. This will allow the Foreign Secretary to swiftly provide me with the powers needed to take corrective action if progress against the milestones is unsatisfactory,” Rankin said previously of the Order in Council.
In the meantime, Malone said regardless of the BVI’s efforts, its constitution will still be met with a suspension.
“They will have to, in my view – this is solely my view – no matter what we do; they will have to suspend the constitution, [even] if for a day, to get into the constitution certain aspects of those recommendations,” Malone argued.
Malone said this was because there are other areas of concern held by the British, apart from the more than 40 recommendations put forward in the COI
report regarding the BVI’s poor governance record.
According to Malone, when the recommendations come to the House of Assembly (HOA), “they may well face debates as to exactly what is best for the Virgin Islands
Malone also questioned whether people were truly satisfied with the government’s level of interaction with residents leading to the finalisation of proposals sent by the BVI government to the UK.
The first-term legislator had repeatedly called for dialogue with residents on the proposals ahead of their submission to the UK Overseas Territories Minister Amanda Milling.