Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Premier Smith Speaks on the New White Paper Released by UK

Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. D. Orlando Smith expressed his opinion on the new White Paper that was released on June 28 under the title 'The Overseas Territories: Security, Success and Sustainability'. The premier is pleased on the new development of relationship between the UK and its Overseas Territories. He said that the British Virgin Islands is aware of its responsibilities within the partnership, which continues to be important to the jurisdiction as an Overseas Territory.

In the statement to the House of Assembly, the Premier noted that the UK has had special relationships with many territories, and most of them have become self-governing nations, involved in global community. He said that this relationship continues to evolve as the 14 territories seek more and more independence, and within this framework it became possible to negotiate a modern new constitution for the British Virgin Islands.

Premier Smith commented on the release of the White Paper: "I welcome the new white paper and look forward to the continuing maturity of the BVI both economically and in its relationship with the United Kingdom. As a Government, we are determined to carry out our responsibility to the people of the Territory in a transparent and accountable manner...While we are aware of our responsibilities within this Partnership, we also expect that during this redefined relationship that the gains that we have made politically and constitutionally as a Territory over the past decades will continue to be improved upon."

Public consultations on the Overseas Territories strategy were held by the UK FCO from September 2011 to January 2012. The results can be found on the FCO website at http://ukoverseasterritories.readandcomment.com. The newly released White Paper can be found at http://www.fco.gov.uk/overseas-territories/white-paper.

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