We Did Our Part—Fahie Following UK’s Trip

BVI Platinum News
May 21, 2018 8:31 am AST
Photo Credit: Provided
Premier Hon. Dr D. Orlando Smith, and the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Fahie, have called on the United Kingdom (UK) Government and Parliament to respect the Virgin Islands Constitution ahead of the House of Lords consideration of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill today, May 21 and its provisions on public central registers of beneficial ownership in the Overseas Territories.

“As our meetings in the UK comes to an end, the Premier and I with God’s help, has done our part. God will do the rest. We must however keep fighting in a respectful but yet forthright manner, for what is best for the BVI,” Hon. Fahie said over the weekend following the meetings in London.

He said, “Together we must work hand in glove to diversify our economy while putting our country back in the hands of the God of our forefathers.”

In a series of meetings in London last week, the BVI delegation led by Premier Smith reiterated to UK parliamentarians and UK Ministers and officials that the UK Parliament's unilateral imposition of a public register on the British Virgin Islands is not consistent with the constitutional arrangements between the BVI and the UK.

Government said that they also restated that the BVI will continue to meet the current global standard on beneficial ownership that does not require public registers and to maintain effective exchange of beneficial ownership information with UK law enforcement and those of other jurisdictions.

“Hon. Fahie and I have had a full and frank exchange of views with senior members of the House of Lords and other persons and are gratified for the support we have received. There is currently no global standard on public registers of company beneficial ownership and, until there is, we will not implement one,” Premier Smith stated.

He continued, “However, be in no doubt, that if the UK Parliament proceeds with seeking to impose public registers on the British Virgin Islands that this could fundamentally alter our relationship with the UK and we will take all necessary steps to protect our constitutional rights.”

Hon. Fahie said: “The Premier and I have made our position clear and both agree that this is constitutional overreach. We stand united on protecting the constitutional rights of the British Virgin Islands.”

Government stated that, in the likely event that the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill passes in its current form, the BVI Government will continue its fight against what it sees as a constitutional overreach.

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