corrects statement made in the House of Commons
Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith has responded to inaccurate statements made in the
House of Commons about the British Virgin Islands.
On 14 July,
the Chief Minister wrote to Mr. Bill Rammell, Parliamentary Under Secretary of
State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, requesting a correction to his
inaccurate statements of 13 July. Mr. Rammell was at the time responding to
questions on the effect of the European Union (EU) Savings Directive on the BVI.
Minister is particularly concerned that Mr. Rammell stated there was no evidence
that BVI business would re-locate as a result of the application of the EU
Savings Directive. According to the Chief Minister’s letter, “In fact, as you
should well know, the Maxwell Stamp Report, which has recently been published,
specifically looked at the potential economic consequences for BVI of the
implementation of the EU Savings Directive. The report clearly states that:
‘The savings directive will have an initial and continuing negative impact on
the BVI’s financial services sector from an initial loss of flight business and
a future loss of new business.’ The report further states that BVI economy
could decline by as much as between 10 and 20%.”
Minister also objected to Mr. Rammell’s statement that this issue was not raised
during the BVI recent successful Road Show in Hong Kong and Singapore.
“In fact the
matter was raised on a number of occasions with members of the delegation by
both the press and in private discussion. Indeed the South China Morning Post
referred to the directive in its report of our visit to Hong Kong on 11 May.”
Minister also reminded Mr. Rammell of Her Majesty Government’s commitment to
ensure positive publicity for the BVI and in particular the quality of its
financial services regulation.
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