Territorial At-Large Representative Neville ’Sheep’ Smith expressed that he was disturbed at the way the BVI was being treated by the United Kingdom (UK) lately.
Smith was particularly upset about the potential power given to the Governor through an Order in Council in the UK parliament following the report emanating from the Commission of Inquiry
Effectively, an Order in Council is a forceful command made in the name of Her Majesty the Queen. Failure to comply with that command can result in the UK exerting diplomatic pressure on the BVI.
“The Governor could get up at any given time, if he wake up in a bad mood… if the coffee wasn’t hot enough. He could say, this [Order in Council] going [into] the gazette. That is not right. That is not right,” Smith said while speaking in the House of Assembly (HOA) last week.
The first-term legislator said he got emotional after listening to his colleagues, Mark Vanterpool and Vincent Wheatley, speak earlier during a debate in the HOA.
But unlike Vanterpool, who had indicated during his debate contribution that he wasn’t angry and that his tone only meant that he was speaking passionately, Smith said he was both upset and distraught.
“I can’t find the words to tell you how I really feel,” Smith told members of the House.
Smith argued that the UK had adopted the principle of ‘do as I say and not as I do’ in dealing with the BVI because ‘they (the UK) are doing all sort of things’.
“We can see what’s going on in the news. You’re reading the news every day. You see what’s happening. When a COI
was called on them, [the UK government requested] not to have the COI
now during the pandemic. But yet still, you gone do a COI
on us,” Smith said.
He continued: “What are we, dogs? To me that’s what we’re being treated as right now, dogs. Our forefathers work hard to get where we are today. Toil, they work with sweat.”
And while conceding that mistakes were made along the way for the BVI, Smith said every member and leader in the HOA had worked hard to get where they are today.