The BVI‘s Junior Trade Minister, Shereen Flax-Charles has said she believes the territory will soon exit the fold as a British Overseas Territory.
Flax Charles was at the time arguing in support of the government’s bill, the Virgin Islands
Gaming & Betting Control (Amendment) Act, 2021 which was passed by legislators in the House of Assembly (HOA) late last week.
During her contributions to the debate of the bill, the Junior Minister indicated she was deliberate to not describe the BVI as a ‘territory’.
“You notice that I keep saying ‘country’,” Flax-Charles said.
“Because ‘territory’ is when somebody else owns you,” she added. “And that might be so for now but I don’t believe that we will be in that position for very much longer.”
“So we need to put things in place to be able to support and sustain ourselves, which we have been doing for decades,” the first term legislator stated.
She further said the BVI needs to move forward and not be stagnant. And to do so, she said residents need to “cut out the ‘crab in a barrel’ mentality”. According to Flax-Charles, the BVI has “too much of it”; further suggesting that this mentality is preventing the BVI from moving farther.
Flax-Charles also argued that the gaming legislation allows the BVI to be able to better control its destiny and sustain its people socially and economically.
Several legislators and public officials over the years have argued in favour of self determination and independence for the territory, while others have cautioned that the BVI is not ready for that step.
Just last year, Premier Andrew Fahie
hinted at his hope for an independent BVI, stating that he wanted to see the BVI with a ‘Governor General’, who is the ceremonial head of state in most independent Commonwealth countries.