There Are Economic Benefits From UK Relationship

BVI Platinum News
July 09, 2018 7:18 am AST
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
As the conversation continues on whether the BVI should seek self-determination, Senior Pastor of the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Melvin A. Turnbull said that there are economic benefits from the BVI-United Kingdom (UK) relationship.

He made it clear that when he speaks of self-determination, it is in the context of the Virgin Islands having the fair opportunity and right to choose their affiliations, and to sit at the decision-making table with no meddling from any other country.

Rev. Turnbull said that in 1998 while pursuing a degree at H.L. Stoutt Community College, he wrote a research paper on “The Economic Impact of BVI Relation with Britain”. The research paper investigates the impact of Britain on the British Virgin Islands, with a view of projecting what the future relationship should look like.

He had asked the real question—are we benefiting from our relationship with Britain?

“The answer is Britain, because their delinquency, permitted a number of things to take place. Nevertheless, we turned that around and made it so good, yes, with some help from them that we become now something that they are proud of and even envious of.”

Pastor Turnbull said, for example, “We have acquired a status that should have been the reserve for the metropolitan countries. However, we must understand that our interest economically and that of the British are not always going to be the same.”

He added that when it comes to doing what is best for the long-term interest and sustainability of the British Virgin Islands, the protection and preservation of the integrity of the jurisdiction must rest with the people of the Virgin Islands - no other country.

“We do have economic benefits of the BVI-UK relationship. Over the years Britain has moved from the giving of grants to financial aid to technical services. For example, projects funded by the British Government in the past included New Prison Building $4,100,000.00; New Police Barracks $900,000.00; UK Technical Training $399,451.00 and other projects,” he said.

He however noted that the conversation about self-determination must begin more meaningfully and it must continue with the people leading the conversation.
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