Constitutional Upgrade, Not War: Premier Says


BVI Leader Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith stressed that there is no war between the BVI and the United Kingdom and in the process distanced government from the comment that was made by Deputy Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering during the 24 May Decision March.

Following the march the Deputy Premier told the gathering: “We need to ensure that we understand the real issue and where we stand here today, that we have declared open war on the UK with respect to this Sanction and Anti-Money Laundering Amendment Bill: we have declared war because we do not agree. So, we have to be prepared to fight.”

Hon. Pickering also told the gathering that they were in a fight: “We have to be prepared to follow the strategy going forward…This is a fight that we are in that we cannot afford to lose because dead is dead. So is either we stand up and fight until we dead or we going to lie down and let them kill us.”

However, the Premier during his press conference on 31 May  pointed out that there was no battle between the BVI and the UK. “No, and it’s a phrase that is not specific and certainly there is no battle going on between the BVI and the UK. As I said, what we are doing is actually looking at discussing as soon as possible any further constitutional change that we would be able to negotiate with the UK,” Hon. Smith said.

As the question was asked again by another reporter the Premier said: “No, you heard what I just said. Any statements made were giving their personal opinion; that is not my personal opinion.” “Dr. Pickering as the Deputy Premier would tell you that he was speaking, giving his own opinion not necessarily the opinion of the government of the day. Giving his own opinion and that is fine,” Dr. Smith added.