Mr Smith was at the time speaking on the Global Britain mandate and what that means to the Virgin Islands. The host was speaking alongside guest Bishop John I. Cline on the Monday, June 7, 2021, edition of his radio show 'Umoja' on ZBVI 780 AM.
Global Britain is the UK government’s mantra for its post-Brexit foreign policy. It was intended to signal that the country would not become inward-looking after Brexit, but on contrary would have a global outlook that went beyond Europe.
Under the Global Britain banner, the UK is also seeking to integrate more overseas territory’s (OTs) into the UK; however, political pundits have argued that the strategy will ultimately mean less autonomy for OT Governments and their people under Britain.
According to Cromwell Smith, the UK is now looking to have more control of the region and that one governor allegedly called for OTs to have a much closer cultural relationship with the UK.
“He was upset we that we had such a culturally close relationship to the United States… he said out of his own mouth, that cultural relationship should be more with England, that has to change.”
“We are actually American… I know we don’t like to hear it, we think we have some culture or something,” Smith said, relating to the VI’s cultural ties with the US.
Guest Bishop Cline said, in the case of the VI and the USA, the territory uses the US currency, watch their television, consume their news and educate the VI’s children in their colleges.
Both Smith and Cline agreed that the UK is seeking to take over the territory and control OTs through Global Britain.
According to Bishop Cline, “Everything we have built over the last 200 years can be undermined and compromised in the next 30 years if this relationship takes effect,” he said.
Political pundits have viewed the current Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into governance as the perfect tool Britain is using to have its way with the VI in order to carry out its Global Britain agenda.
While many deep-rooted Virgin Islanders believe governments have not been very astute with the territory's finances, their sentiments are not in favour of direct rule by Britain as they believe it is not what their forefathers fought and died for.