Many benefits to be accrued from positive UK relationship – Premier
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has argued that there are benefits to be accrued from a positive relationship between the BVI and the United Kingdom (UK).
In his recent trip to the UK, Premier Wheatley said he met with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Shafique Shah, with whom he discussed issues such as benefits between the BVI and UK that can benefit Virgin Islanders currently living and studying both in the UK and the BVI.
“We’d love to be able to get financial grants and things like that, we’re happy with that. But there are also other areas where we can benefit from our relationship with the United Kingdom,” Premier Wheatley said.
Among those areas mentioned by the Premier, were technical support, education, sports and being able to have access to the policies that the UK government has.
He also spoke on the importance of maximising the benefits of the relationship between the two countries, especially given the BVI’s dependency status.
“I think it’s important for us as an overseas territory to seek to maximize the benefits of the relationships we have with the United Kingdom,” the Premier said. “Some persons want to see a confrontational relationship with the United Kingdom where we’re at each other’s throats and we’re fighting.”
The Premier further noted that while it was important to ensure that the interests of the BVI are represented very strongly, his focus was centred on a collaborative and positive relationship with the United Kingdom which he felt would be in the BVI’s best interest.
While speaking with a group of persons from the BVI diaspora during a previous engagement, Dr Wheatley argued that the more persons the BVI has that can adopt positions that favour the territory’s interests, the more powerful the territory can become in influencing UK government policy towards the BVI.