Chairman of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA), Mrs Shaina M. Smith-Archer says there remains antagonism from the United Kingdom (UK) as it relates to their relationship with the Virgin Islands (VI).
Appearing as the guest-host alongside Opposition Member Hon Carvin Malone (AL) on the Virgin Islands Agenda Open programme, which aired on ZBVI 780 AM on January 17, 2023, Smith said even as the VI was implementing the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) reforms, the antagonism remains with the UK saying, “if you don’t do what I tell you to do, this is the threat of what could happen.”
“I see that as a lack of trust. I mean, I understand the seriousness of everything that was presented in the Commission of Inquiry report,” she added in reference to the Order in Council being put in place to suspend the constitution if the VI fails to implement the recommendations within a certain time frame.
Mrs Smith-Archer said in the spirit of modern partnerships; however, this is not how a partner should be treated, especially in the case of the VI moving towards self-governance.
The said the antagonism displayed is an
if the VI still needs to be incentivized in addition to the
implementation of the framework agreed to with the UK
Behaviour 'Colonial in nature'- Mrs Smith-Archer
“This is not the right behavior and it’s very colonial in nature, if you ask me, because it's very threatening,” she added.
According to Mrs Smith-Archer, the relationship with the UK has created a lot of uncertainty over whether the VI can successfully review its constitution.
“It's almost as if you have a boogeyman out there about to get you, but then you're still not sure well, should I go forward and on the assumption that everything will remain status quo or tomorrow morning we could wake up and, you know, life as we know it has completely shifted from under,” she added.
Mrs Smith-Archer also said she supports the idea of the Premier petitioning the UK to have the Order in Council removed.