BVI Will Not Implement Public Registers—Premier Backs March Against UK

BVI Platinum News | 6 Comments
May 11, 2018 8:08 am AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Premier and Finance Minister, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith has strongly stated that the BVI will not introduce public registers of company beneficial ownership until it is a global standard.

He also endorsed the upcoming non-partisan march against the United Kingdom’s May 1 decision to impose on all OTs including the BVI to implement public registers via imperial legislation.

“…We cannot avoid the fact that this decision poses a significant reputational and economic threat to these Islands and its financial services industry. The BVI has consistently stated that it will not introduce public registers of company beneficial ownership until it is a global standard. I want to assure you that nothing that has happened in the last two weeks changes this position,” he said in a statement last evening, May 10.

He added that if a global standard is ever adopted, any public register of beneficial ownership must respect and protect fundamental rights: that is non-negotiable.

Premier Smith encouraged residents to remain as engaged and inquisitive as they have been in the issues surrounding last week’s events.

He said that significantly, this heightened level of unity and engagement is manifesting itself in the community with the organisation of a public non-partisan march on 24th May.

“Having led the constitutional delegation in 2007 and also as Premier, I fully support the right of the people in this Territory to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association,” he stated.

He continued, “I fully endorse this march which from all indications will be a seminal event for reflection and solidarity. I also call on all participants to maintain a peaceful albeit resolute posture throughout all events.”

The Decision March will be held under the theme, 'A Fight For Economic Freedom' on Thursday May 24 at 2pm, from the Sunday Morning Well to the Governor's House.

The Territory’s leader said that, his government continues to consider this a top priority for the Territory and to actively evaluate the implications of that decision and explore all available options.

He reiterated that the move is viewed as a fundamental breach in the constitutional relationship and modern partnership between the United Kingdom and the Virgin Islands nurtured over the past ½ century.

“This relationship evolved from direct colonial rule to a progressive constitutional partnership, where the democratically elected Government of the Virgin Islands has clear responsibility for some matters and the United Kingdom has theirs.”

Premier Smith said that these responsibilities are spelt out in the Virgin Islands Constitutional Order, 2007 and while it may be that this relationship allows for certain decisions to be made on behalf of the Territory by the United Kingdom, the decision the United Kingdom Parliament seemed to make on 1st May is not one of them.

“I maintain that that decision is fundamentally flawed, and we will address this unjustified and discriminatory action in every possible and available forum,” Premier Smith said.

The Finance Minister said, naturally, they will also continue to engage directly with the United Kingdom Government in the hope that right and reason can prevail.

“There is no international standard requiring public registers of beneficial ownership and the BVI continues to meet our information exchange and international cooperation obligations to the United Kingdom and other countries and to meet international standards throughout our international business industry,” Premier Smith stated.
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Reader Opinions

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Thank you, Premier, for taking a stand against what could very well be the fight for this country's economic destiny All persons in this territory who is concerned about it's future should attend This could be the beginning of the "wars" needed to counter these and other economic threats to the stability and viability of these " beautiful islands that we call home"!
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Hirstory In The Making?
Wouldn't it be interesting if the outcome of this was a coming together of the affected Caribbean countries in some sort of United States of the Caribbean? Very interested to see how this will strengthen and unite these countries.
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Will he marching 2 ???
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Reasonable Man
I think Dr. Smith is completely right and his process for handling this is as well.
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If yahll calling what Uk doing then what is your own Government doing to you an I don't think yahll care about your families living uk bettering their lives rather than living Tola struggling from check to check just to get by yahll will be some stupid fools to let these ppl who already have homes businesses an are rich to lead u astray to jeopardise the bond when yahll go independent you will learn an feel the pain Haiti Africans and other poor countries going through
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1 Like
Congratulations Mr. Premier. I totally agree with your decision not introduce public registers of company beneficial ownership in the British Virgin Islands until it is a global standard. The rights of the territory and the economic interest of its people MUST be protected. So in the words of: Sun--Tzu ".. if your enemy is superior, evade him, if angry, irritate him. If equally, fight and if not split and reevaluate...."
Like · · 23w
1 Like
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