(Photo Credit: Provided)
The members of the Opposition are once again collaborating to have public meetings. This time, the discussion is expected to be on what was described as the “deteriorated relationship between the United Kingdom and the BVI”.
In the advertisement for the series of meetings, it was stated that the public consultations are mainly to discuss “BVI and UK relationship, the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) and other pertinent issues facing the Territory.”
The meetings, which kick off tonight, September 10 at the East End/Long Look Community Center, will feature Leader of the Opposition Hon. Marlon Penn, Second District Representative Hon. Melvin 'Mitch' Turnbull, Third District Representative Hon. Julian Fraser, Fourth District Representative Hon. Mark Vanterpool, and Sixth District Representative Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines.
In an interview, the Leader of the Opposition explained that the members of the Opposition felt that there is a need clear up certain misunderstandings the public have.
“We thought it was important to have the meeting, because the lack of clarity and uncertainty about the issue of the RDA, the loan guarantee after the Premier’s public meeting and statements. We as the Opposition thought it was important to lend our voice on the subject, as we seek to bring clarity to the people of this Territory,” he said.
Hon. Penn stated that the members of the Opposition are worried about United Kingdom –BVI relationship and also want to have a public discourse on this matter.
“We are also very concerned of what seems to be a deteriorated relationship between the Virgin Islands and the UK, which does not vote well for the support we would need going forward with dealing with the foreign affairs issues, as UK has been for a long time our support in this regard,” he said.
Further, the Leader of the Opposition mentioned that the members are hoping to use the meetings as an avenue to answer any questions that members of the public might have on various matters, specifically about the loan guarantee and the RDA. “And also to put the facts out there as we know it regarding the RDA and the issue of the loan guarantee,” Hon. Penn added.
During the meeting, the five Opposition members are hoping to discuss other matters that they stated are of Territorial importance. In noting what these issues are, the Opposition Leader said, “The economic uncertainty of our Territory, clouds of BREXIT, Economic Substance, Beneficial Ownership looming, on the heels of an obvious deteriorated partnership with the Virgin Islands and UK, and potential collapse of UK Government. Also, with our Government’s failure to share a concise and cohesive plan to navigate us through these challenges.”
“We're also concerned with the Premier’s vagueness regarding his plans the development and diversification of the economy, which is a matter of urgency to move us forward,” he added.
Other meetings are scheduled for September 11 at Marias By the Sea, September 12 at Valerie Thomas Community Centre, September 17 at Cane Garden Bay Community Centre, and September 18 at the Catholic Community Centre in Virgin Gorda.
This is the second time since the February general elections that the members of the Opposition joined for public meetings. In May, four of the Opposition members held public meetings to discuss amendments to the Passport and Immigration Act, and certain aspects of the Clear Path to Regularization initiative.